Prediabetes affects more than 84 million U.S. adults yet 90% don’t know it. First Health Associates shares tips on preventing and assessing diabetes risk. Millions of Americans have some form of diabetes. Are you one of them?
More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes. However, 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it. Worse yet, more than 84 million U.S. adults have prediabetes and 90% don’t know it.
WHAT IS PREDIABETES?
Prediabetes is a serious health condition marked by abnormally high blood sugar levels. It is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes and can also lead to heart disease and stroke. Prediabetes generally does not have any signs or symptoms. However, some people will have darkened skin on areas of their body such as the neck, knees or elbows. This could be a sign that you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Oftentimes, if left unchecked, prediabetes progresses to Type 2 diabetes. Some of the symptoms that could indicate this progression include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
The Canadian Diabetes Association (Diabetes Canada) offers a quick and simple screening test to assess your potential risk level. TAKE THE TEST – HERE
TYPE 2 DIABETES IS HIGHLY PREVENTABLE
While insulin-resistant (Type 2) diabetes can begin at any time in your life, the good news is that it is highly preventable. Research has shown that people at risk for diabetes can prevent it with these lifestyle and diet modifications:
- Keep your weight under control — Studies show that people at high risk for diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their weight, if they are overweight. For a 200-pound person, that’s 10 to 14 pounds.
- Exercise regularly –– Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week.
- Eat a healthy diet –– To tune up your diet: eliminate processed foods, reduce added sugar, and stop eating when you feel 80 percent full.
- Don’t smoke
In summary, prediabetes does not have any clear symptoms. It often goes undetected until it progresses into more serious health problems. Therefore, if you have any risk factors for prediabetes, talk to your doctor about getting your blood glucose tested. Taking precaution and making some lifestyle changes can make all the difference in preventing the onset of diabetes.
Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove and Des Plaines. First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers: Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.
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