Prediabetes: Am I at risk?
1 in 3 U.S. Adults has prediabetes
You may have prediabetes and be at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:
- Are 45 years of age or older
- Are overweight
- Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
- Have high blood pressure
- Are physically active fewer than three times per week
- Ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
What is prediabetes?
Prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Higher than normal blood sugar levels can start to damage your heart and cause problems with how your blood flows through your body. If you have prediabetes and don’t lose weight or increase your physical activity, you could develop type 2 diabetes within eight years.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to health issues such as
- Heart attack,
- Stroke, blindness,
- Kidney failure,
- loss of toes, feet or legs.
How do you know if you have pre-diabetes?
There are 2 different blood tests that could tell if you have pre-diabetes. You should NOT have anything to eat or drink for 8 hours before these blood tests.
The first is called a finger prick or finger stick test.
- A blood sugar between 100 - 125 means you have pre-diabetes.
- A blood sugar over 126 means you have diabetes.
The second test is called a Hemoglobin A-1-c (he-mo-glow-bin A-1-c).
- An A-1-c between 5.7% and 6.4% means you have pre-diabetes.
- An A-1-c over 6.5% means you have diabetes.
Who should be tested for pre-diabetes?
People who are over 45 years old and overweight.
People who are under 45 years old and:
- Are overweight
- Have a family member with diabetes
- Taking medication for high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Are African-American, Native-American, Hispanic, or Asian
- Women who had diabetes while pregnant
- Women who had a baby weighing over 9 pounds
- Rarely exercise
- Women who have Polycystic Ovary Disease
Can I have pre-diabetes and not know it?
Yes. Many people with pre-diabetes and diabetes do not have symptoms. Sometimes symptoms develop slowly so you may not recognize them.
These signs may mean you have pre-diabetes or diabetes
- Having to urinate alot
- Being very thirsty
- Feeling very tired or weak
- Having pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands or feet.
- Having blurry vision
- Losing weight without trying
Tell your doctor if you have any of these signs.
What should you do if you have prediabetes?
Find out if your weight is healthy.The Body Mass Index (BMI) Graph can be used to find out if you are overweight or obese. Height and weight are used to find your BMI on this chart. If you are overweight, try to lose weight. If you are not overweight, try not to gain weight. BMI Chart
Be active! Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Eat healthy foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try not to eat too many foods high in fat. Do not overeat. Talk to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.