When blood sugar levels are above normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, it is known as prediabetes. Over 96 million adult Americans, or one in three, have this condition. Over 80% of people with prediabetes are even unaware that they already have it.
The good news is that the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program can assist you in changing your lifestyle to avert or postpone type 2 diabetes and other major health issues if you already have it.
How Does Prediabetes Develop?
The hormone insulin, which is produced by your pancreas, functions as a key to allow blood sugar to enter cells for use as energy. Your body’s cells don’t react to insulin normally if you have prediabetes. In an effort to induce cells to react, your pancreas produces more insulin. Over time, your pancreas becomes unable to keep up, causing your blood sugar to rise and eventually leading to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
The Signs and Symptoms of Prediabetes
Prediabetes can go undiagnosed for years if there are no obvious signs, leading to type 2 diabetes and other major health issues. If you have any of the following prediabetes risk factors, you should speak with your doctor about having your blood sugar checked:
- Excess weight
- Having reached the age of 45
- Having a type 2 diabetic parent, sibling, or brother
- Being inactive for three or fewer days each week
- Having given birth to a kid that weighed more than 9 pounds or having gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- A polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosis
- Additionally, race and ethnicity play a role. The risk is higher for American Indians, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Your chance of developing type 2 diabetes can be lowered if you have prediabetes, lose a small amount of weight, and engage in regular physical activity. Around 5% to 7% of your body weight, or 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person, is considered a small amount of weight loss. Regular exercise entails engaging in an activity like brisk walking for at least 150 minutes per week. Simply put, that is thirty minutes, five days a week.
You may make those changes—and make them stick—with the aid of a lifestyle modification program provided by the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. Participating in the program may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 58% (71% if you’re over 60). Highlights consist of:
- Making practical, long-lasting lifestyle improvements while working with a trained coach.
- Learning how to increase your daily physical activity and eating healthy.
- Learning how to control your stress, maintain your motivation, and address issues that can impede your success.
- Obtaining assistance from those facing comparable issues and aspirations.
- Finding a CDC-recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program in your area by asking your doctor or nurse. Indeed, there is no better time than the present to stop type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is a serious condition that affects countless people in the United States. It is important to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms and to take steps to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
If you think you are at risk, talk to your doctor immediately to discuss your options moving forward.
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