With 88 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults in this country, suffering from prediabetes (and 34 million Americans, or 1 in 10 having full-blown type 2 diabetes), many people walk around with a ticking time bomb and don’t even know that they have the condition.
Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be for optimal health, but not high enough for your doctor to diagnose the disease. It’s also known as disturbed fasting glucose or glucose intolerance. The scary part is that 90 percent of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
We’ve all heard that being excessively thirsty or urinating more than normal is a sign that you might have diabetes. But what are the tell-tale signals that you may have diabetes? Why does it matter? The sooner you find out, the better for your health and to know that a change in your lifestyle can change the course of the disease and break off at the passport.
Could you be pre-diabetic and not know it? Yes, is the simple answer
In contrast to diabetes, prediabetes is an asymptomatic disease. The sooner someone finds out they are prediabetic the better, experts say, as it is possible to make lifestyle changes that can reverse your health and get you back on a healthy path with simple switches like eating more plant-based foods and losing a small amount of body weight and being more active, like 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
“Prevention is the best medicine! If you are diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, don’t despair” as you can make simple lifestyle changes (exercise, diet, and weight loss) to reverse the disease Kellie Antinori-Lent, MSN, RN, and President of the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) and a specialist in diabetes clinical nurses at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Shadyside Hospital, Pittsburgh.
“If someone is at risk of developing prediabetes or diabetes, they should schedule an appointment with their doctor to discuss their concerns and questions. The best place to start is with a personal or virtual visit to your provider.” No delay, “says Antinori-Lent. Prevention is the best medicine! If you get a diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes – don’t despair!” There are simple things you can do to help recall the disease, such as: B. Exercise 30 minutes a day, lose 7 to 10 percent of your body weight, and eat mostly whole foods – foods, plant-based foods, high in fiber and low in added sugars and chemicals.
How do you know if you have diabetes or prediabetes? We asked Antinori-Lent who made it their life’s mission to educate people about the changes they can make to ensure their future health, and here’s what she has to say:
The Beet: What Are The Symptoms Of And Who Is At Risk For Prediabetes?
Kellie: That’s a really good question, but prediabetes has no symptoms. There is a physical sign of insulin resistance associated with prediabetes. This sign is dark skin in areas such as the neck, under the arms, and elbows. Some people mistake it for an area of skin that they haven’t washed well – but you can’t wash Acanthosis nigricans (the name of dark areas of skin). Instead, there are risk factors. These include:
- Age: As we age, our risk increases, which we cannot change
- Weight: When we are above our ideal weight for our height, also known as BMI, our chances of developing prediabetes and diabetes increase (a BMI over 25 or> 23 for Asian Americans is considered overweight).
- Some medications can tip the scales or increase glucose levels. Some examples are glucocorticoids, thiazide diuretics, and atypical antipsychotics
- A family history of prediabetes or diabetes increases your risk
- Activity level – exercise is good for the body – and in this case it can prevent the development of prediabetes and diabetes. 150 minutes of moderate activity per week is the CDC’s current recommendation, or 30 minutes per day
- Men are more likely to develop prediabetic or diabetes than women (this could be because they see their doctor more often, so women may be prediabetic and undiagnosed).
- High blood pressure can add to your overall risk for prediabetes and diabetes
- Race or ethnicity are risk factors – certain races and ethnic groups are at higher risk, including American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and African Americans
- A history of PCOS or gestational diabetes
The Sugar Beet: What Should You Do If You Have Risk Factors, Or Suspect You May Be Prediabetic?
Kellie: Take the CDC online quiz and see a doctor. If anyone is interested in knowing their risk, the CDC and ADA have worked together to develop a risk assessment that can be found and completed by clicking on this link. It’s simple and asks you about your family history, activity level, and weight. You can take it as many times as you want.
Keep in mind that if left untreated, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes. People can prevent this from happening by evaluating their lifestyle habits, including changing their diet, increasing their exercise and activity levels, seeing a doctor regularly, and working with him or her to prevent progression.
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