Over 85 million adults are pre-diabetic. That’s 1 in 3 adults. And over 90% aren’t even aware they are in danger of developing the full disease. This number is dangerously high. Our lifestyles are changing to combat this disease but signs should be recognized for prevention.
What Is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is when the blood sugar is high, not high enough yet for Type 2 Diabetes, but not in the healthy range. Prediabetes can develop into Type 2 Diabetes in as little as 10 years. But the good news is the condition can be completely reversed with lifestyle changes.
If the condition does worsen into full diabetes, your body will have trouble using or making the hormone, insulin. The insulin then builds in your system instead of being used as energy in the body’s cells.
This hyperglycemia can lead to serious health problems including skin disorders, vision problems, kidney damage, and neuropathy.
Know The Signs
Only 10% of adults with the condition know they have it. This is because the symptoms may not be recognized or there are no signs showing. It is always best to be aware if you have any changes in your skin, such as darkening in the armpits or on the neck. There may even be small skin growths or tags in these areas. Also, other possible signs might be if you are noticing increased hunger or excessive thirst.
What To Do
Although it is helpful when these symptoms are noticed, they don’t necessarily prove prediabetes. The only way to know if you are pre-diabetic is to be diagnosed by a medical professional through an A1C test. This is the best test as it will accurately determine your blood glucose levels for the past few months. A range of 5.7 to 6.4 is prediabetes. Anything higher is diabetes.
Chances for diabetes increases with age, so periodic testing is suggested for adults 45 and older. And as with any condition, family history plays a role, so it’s best to get checked if you are aware of that genetic risk. Also, Latin American, Native American, Pacific Islanders, and African Americans are more susceptible. Being overweight or having PCOS puts you in a riskier category.
This condition can be reversed, however. Changes now, limiting sweets, losing weight, and exercising regularly is the best way to avoid risk of developing diabetes.