What is Prediabetes?

provided by: Livingston Memorial VNA

Linda Hampson pic

Linda Hampson, RN, MSN, Diabetes Educator

My doctor just told me I have prediabetes. What is Prediabetes?

Having prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal — but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.

Eighty-six million Americans now have prediabetes — that’s one out of three adults! Of those 86 million, nine out of 10 don’t even know they have it.

Don’t let the “pre” in prediabetes fool you into thinking it’s not really a problem. You can take action to help prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. Many people with prediabetes who do not change their lifestyle — by losing weight (if needed) and being more physically active — will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

If you have these risk factors, you may be at higher risk than others for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

  • You are overweight.
  • You are 45 years of age or older.
  • Your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
  • You are physically active fewer than three times per week.
  • You gave birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds.
  • You had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes).

Race and ethnicity also affect your risk. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.

If you are at risk, talk to a health care professional about getting a blood sugar test.

Research shows that modest weight loss and regular physical activity can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by up to 58% in people with prediabetes. Modest weight loss means 5% to 7% of body weight — about 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Getting at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking, is also important. Positive lifestyle changes can improve your overall well-being and help lower your risk of pre and type 2 diabetes.

Want to know more about prediabetes and type 2 diabetes? Attend one of the free diabetes classes listed in the Livingston Calendar on page 3. These educational sessions introduce basic information about pre and type 2 diabetes and discuss meal planning, exercise, blood sugar monitoring, medications and new developments in diabetes management.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes

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