Have you ever wondered if you are at risk for developing diabetes? Understanding pre-diabetes and its signs and symptoms can be difficult. While pre-diabetes can often go undetected, there are steps you can take today to minimize your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

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What is Pre-Diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a health condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, however they are not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. If pre-diabetes progresses, it can develop into type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, pre-diabetes is often asymptomatic, meaning most people do not show signs or symptoms of pre-diabetes, until symptoms of type 2 diabetes start occuring. Luckily, pre-diabetes can be reversed through lifestyle modifications.

Risk Factors & Testing

The following factors put you at risk for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes:

  • Being overweight (BMI greater than 25)
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Consuming a diet high in red/processed meat and/or sugary beverages
  • Having a relative such as a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Smoking tobacco products
  • Ethnicity: Black, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian American individuals are more at risk
Check Blood Glucose

Curious if you have pre-diabetes? Talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested. Generally speaking, a fasting blood sugar level of 110-125 mg/dL or an A1C level between 5.7%-6.4% are considered pre-diabetes.

Reversing Pre-Diabetes & Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Even if you’re already at risk for pre-diabetes, you can take these steps to help prevent disease progression:

  • Switch up your diet to include more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Try to exercise regularly – approximately 150 minutes per week
  • Avoid smoking

Check out some of our other blogs about eating healthy and exercising

Summary While there are no associated signs or symptoms with pre-diabetes, a simple blood sugar test will determine if you have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type-2 diabetes. Making life-style modifications such as improving your diet and exercising more can help reduce your risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Disclaimer: Any information provided is not intended as medical advice. Iowa Diabetes is not responsible for any information from third parties.