8 things you didn’t know about prediabetes, backed by research

Prediabetes Checkup, Health Network News

1 in 3 American adults has prediabetes – but the good news is it can often be reversed

SUMMARY: This article discusses prediabetes risks. Prediabetes affects 1 in 3 adults and leads to type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is often reversed with lifestyle changes.

Prediabetes is a medical condition where a person’s blood sugar level is higher than it should be, but is not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is a strong indication that you could develop type 2 diabetes if you don’t make changes to your lifestyle.

8 important facts about prediabetes

Knowing these eight facts – and acting on them – could save your life.

  1. Men are more likely than women to have diabetes that goes undiagnosed.
    A possible reason for this is that men are less likely than women to see their doctor on a regular basis.

  2. If either of your parents or a sibling has diabetes, you are at higher risk.
    Genetics plays a strong role in type 2 diabetes but lifestyle and environmental factors also play a role.

  3. Women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
    Usually, gestational diabetes goes away once the baby is born, but 5 to 10 percent of women will continue to have type 2 diabetes once the baby is born, and the rest have up to a 50% chance of developing it within 10 years.

  4. Having high blood pressure is a type 2 diabetes risk factor
    According to the American Heart Association, untreated high blood pressure (called hypertension) is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes

  5. People in some ethnic groups are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
    Mexican Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians are at a higher risk for the disease. Some of this risk is due to lifestyle factors and weight.

  6. The older you are, the higher the risk.
    45 to 64 is age group with the most type 2 diabetes diagnoses, though due to poor lifestyle, it is becoming increasingly common in young people.

  7. People with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) are at a higher risk.The National Institutes of Health has an easy-to-use online BMI calculator: NIH BMI calculator

  8. Being physically inactive increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
    The American Diabetes Association recommends four types of physical activity for optimum health:
    1. Aerobic exercise such as swimming, dancing, or brisk walking
    2. Flexibility exercises such as yoga or stretching
    3. Continuous activity throughout the day like moving around, using stairs, and walking
    4. Strength training such as weight lifting

The importance of a healthy lifestyle

The good news is that you can prevent prediabetes from progressing into type 2 diabetes with lifestyle changes. To bring your blood glucose level back into a normal range, you should:

  • Lose excess weight
  • Be physically active
  • Eat healthy food

If you are wondering if you might have prediabetes, we encourage you to take the online quiz at DoIHavePrediabetes.org. The quiz is simple and fast, and you can even print a copy of your results to discuss with your doctor. Type 2 diabetes can, in many cases, be prevented and we encourage you to take the quiz to learn if you are at risk.

Sources: There are many excellent resources to learn more about type 2 diabetes risk. We recommend:
About gestational diabetes at Everyday Health, About the genetics of diabetes at Diabetes.org, About hypertension and diabetes at the American Heart Association, About age and type 2 diabetes at Healthline.com, About ethnicity and type 2 diabetes at the American Diabetes Association, and About physical activity and type 2 diabetes at the American Diabetes Association.

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