Chances are you know someone with type 2 diabetes. It’s the most common form of diabetes — millions of Americans have it. But have you heard of something called prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition that also affects millions of Americans and is a wake-up call that you’re on the path to diabetes. If you’re told you have prediabetes, it means your blood sugar (glucose) level may be higher than normal and you may also have other health conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol or obesity.
You Could Have It But Not Know It
You can’t count on having symptoms of prediabetes to warn you of the condition, because often there are none. The only way to know for sure is to have your blood sugar level measured.
Your doctor may want you to be tested if you’re age 45 or older. Even if you’re younger than 45, your doctor might also want you to get tested if you are overweight and have other risk factors, such as –
- A family history of diabetes
- You are African American, Asian American or Hispanic / Latino
- High blood pressure
Small Steps Can Reduce Your Risk
Prediabetes can often be turned around with lifestyle changes. Losing some weight (shedding even 7 percent of your body weight can help), exercising regularly and eating less fat and calories can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance”, (accessed Jan. 12, 2018), available at www.niddk.nih.gov;
American Diabetes Association, “Diagnosing Diabetes and Learning about Prediabetes”, (accessed Jan. 12, 2018), available at diabetes.org