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The Surprising Truth About Prediabetes

It’s real. It’s common. And most importantly, it’s reversible. You can prevent or delay prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes.

Amazing but true: approximately 84 million American adults, more than 1 out of 3, have prediabetes. What’s more, 90% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Could this be you? Read on to find out the facts and what you can do to stay healthy.

Prediabetes Is a Big Deal

Don’t let the “pre” fool you – prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Prediabetes Flies Under the Radar

You can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems show up. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any risk factors for prediabetes, which include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Having a prent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Being physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby that weight more than 9 pounds

Race and ethnicity are also a factor: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk.

Ready to find out your risk? Take the quiz at DoIHavePrediabetes.org and be sure to share the results with your doctor.

Prediabetes = Prevent Diabetes

Think of prediabetes as a fork in the road: Ignore it, and your risk for type 2 diabetes goes up. lose a modest amount of weight and get regular physical activity, and your risk goes down. Modest weight loss means 5% to 7% of body weight, just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Regular physical activity means getting at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or similar activity. That’s just 30 minutes a day, five days a week.