All about Pre-Diabetes
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.
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
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
- How to Build a Better Salad
- 10 Ways to Eat Healthier at Restaurants
- 6 At-home exercises without equipment
- 6 Ways to be Active at Work
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.