Millions of people have prediabetes and the vast majority of them aren’t aware of it.
There is an incredibly strong possibility that you have prediabetes, and an even better chance you don’t know you have it. This holiday season is a time for feasting, but the worrying truth is that an estimated 86 million people have diabetes, and nine in 10 people who have it don’t realize it.
That’s a problem because diabetes is one of the top killers in the United States, and many times it’s preventable. Prediabetes typically leads to full-blown Type 2 diabetes within just a few years, and that can greatly shorten your life span.
The risk factors are what you would expect, such as obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. But it doesn’t take much to dramatically reduce your risk of getting it, as a large national study showed that just a 7 percent drop in body weight reduced the risk of getting diabetes by a whopping 58 percent.
“Prediabetes means you have blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes,” states the US National Library of Medicine. “Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Too much glucose in your blood can damage your body over time. If you have prediabetes, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
“Most people with prediabetes don’t have any symptoms. Your doctor can use an A1C test or another blood test to find out if your blood glucose levels are higher than normal. If you are 45 years old or older, your doctor may recommend that you be tested for prediabetes, especially if you are overweight.”