What Is Prediabetes?
Could You Have Prediabetes? Take the risk test.
Prediabetes is a serious health condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. About 88 million American adults – more than 1 in 3 – have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 84% are unaware that they have it. Prediabetes puts you at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The good news is, if you have prediabetes, the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
What Causes Prediabetes?
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that acts as a key to keep blood sugar flowing into cells for use as energy. When you have prediabetes, the cells in your body don’t respond normally to insulin. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try and get the cells to respond. Ultimately, your pancreas can’t keep up and your blood sugar spikes, paving the way for prediabetes – and type 2 diabetes down the road.
Signs and Symptoms
You can have prediabetes for years but have no obvious symptoms, so it often goes unnoticed until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes develop. It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes, including:
- Being overweight
- Be 45 years of age or older
- Having a parent, sibling with type 2 diabetes
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week
- Ever gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or the birth of a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome
- Race and ethnicity also play a role: African Americans, Hispanic / Latino
- Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk.
Simple blood sugar test
You can have a simple blood sugar test to find out if you have prediabetes. Ask your doctor if you need to be tested.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Having prediabetes can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you lose a little bit of weight if you are overweight and exercise regularly. A small amount of weight loss means about 5% to 7% of your body weight, only 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Regular exercise means brisk walking or a similar activity for at least 150 minutes a week. That’s just 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
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Picture this: you and the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Watch the video!
A lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make those changes – and make sure they last. Through the program, you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% (71% if you are over 60). Highlights include:
- Working with a trained coach to make realistic, lasting lifestyle changes.
- Discovering how to eat healthy and add more physical activity into your day.
- Finding out how to manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can slow your progress.
- Getting support from people with similar goals and challenges.