What Is Prediabetes?

31 Jul

prediabetesFor those unfamiliar with Type 2 diabetes, the word PREdiabetes might sound like a whole bunch of gobbledegook. But prediabetes is a genuine medical condition, an indicator that you’re on your way to Type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, this early warning can serve as an opportunity to put the brakes on an unhealthy lifestyle and take back control of your health, as prediabetes is completely reversible.

Medically speaking, prediabetes is defined as blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 57 million people in the U.S. who have this condition, but aren’t aware of it. That’s unfortunate, because they may already be experiencing  damage to their heart and circulatory system. Prediabetes is also referred to as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), depending on what test is used to measure blood glucose levels.

Risk Factors For Prediabetes (and diabetes):

  • Overweight or obese
  • A close family member has diabetes (this doubles your risk)
  • Your HDL (good) cholesterol is under 35 mg/dL or triglyceride level is above 250 mg/dL
  • You exercise less than 3 times a week
  • You’re of African-American, American Indian, Asian-American, or Hispanic/Latino heritage
  • You had gestational diabetes or gave birth to at least one baby over nine pounds (4.1 kilograms)
  • You have high blood pressure

The symptoms of prediabetes are very similar to those of Type 2 diabetes, but may occur less frequently

Signs that you might have prediabetes (or diabetes)

  • Constant hunger
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent vaginal or bladder infections
  • Frequent gum or skin infections

If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it’s not too late to avoid Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, if you take action now, you have a 58% chance of avoiding diabetes competely! Start by eating a healthy diet (see our post here) and exercising to lose weight.

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