A blood glucose level test. — Erin Hull/The New York Times, File
A blood glucose level test. — Erin Hull/The New York Times, File
You are prediabetic when your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. With lifestyle changes, people diagnosed with prediabetes don’t have to progress to type 2 diabetes. If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes, especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys may already be starting.
If your age 65 or older, your at an increased risk for prediabetes. Other characteristics can also increase your risk even more. You should ask your doctor about receiving a fasting glucose test if you score higher than 5 on this test.
Less than 60: 0
Greater than 100: 4
High blood pressureNo: 0
Less than 25: 0
30 or greater: 3
To determine your heart rate, place the tips of your first two fingers lightly over one of the blood vessels in your neck or the pulse spot inside your wrist just below the base of your thumb. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiplied by 6.
To determine your BMI, consult the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm.
Prediabetes can be a warning sign that you may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition that can lead to complications such as heart disease, nerve damage and kidney damage. In prediabetes, the body does not process glucose properly.
Glucose is your main source of energy for your body’s cells and it comes from the food we eat. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that helps the body’s cells use glucose for energy. In prediabetes, your body does not use insulin properly, which is known as insulin resistance. This causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream, which can damage your organs and tissues over time.
Prediabetes does not usually have any symptoms. This means many people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. It is estimated that over 88 million adults in the United States have prediabetes, but only about 1 in 10 people with prediabetes know they have it. Prediabetes can be detected through routine blood tests, so it is important to have regular check-ups with your doctor.
Diabetes is listed as the fifth deadliest disease in the United States. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimated that the total annual economic impact of diabetes in 2018 was $327 billion. That is one out of every 10 health care dollars spent in the United States.
If you have prediabetes, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. These include:
Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, increasing physical activity and eating a healthy diet can help reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Medications: Medications can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
Diabetes prevention programs: Diabetes prevention programs can help people with prediabetes make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These programs include coaching, education and support from healthcare professionals.
When your two-hour blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dl, you are pre-diabetic. When your two-hour blood glucose level is 200 mg/dl or higher, you have diabetes.
If you don’t treat your prediabetes it can lead to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition that can lead to bad health complications. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to manage your blood glucose levels and reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
While there is no cure for prediabetes or diabetes, it can be controlled. Most prediabetes and type 2 diabetes cannot only be controlled, it can be prevented and reversed. There are a number of areas that are under your control. These control factors include nutrition, fitness, sleep, stress reduction, medical care, not smoking and keeping smoke out of your environment. Educating yourself about prediabetes and diabetes and your control factors are necessary to better control your diabetes.
Your doctor’s appointment is your opportunity to discuss medical problems and concerns such as prediabetes and diabetes. Write down any concerns you may have about your health. By preparing for the appointment you will be less likely to waste the opportunity and more likely to gain a higher degree of satisfaction from the visit.
Remember, prediabetes and diabetes has no cure but it can be controlled and in some cases prevented.
If you have a fitness question or concern, write to “Tips to be Fit,” P.O. Box 53443, Philadelphia, PA 19105 or send an email to email@example.com. Past articles can be found at www.phillytrib.com by searching “Tips to be Fit.”
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