What You Need to Know
- What is pre-diabetes?
- How do I know if I have pre-diabetes?
- Who should be tested for pre-diabetes?
- What can I do about pre-diabetes?
- Where can I get more information about diabetes?
- Did you know if you are 45 years old or older, overweight, and inactive, you may have pre-diabetes?
What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes means you have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Glucose is a form of sugar your body uses for energy. Too much glucose in your blood can damage your body over time. Pre-diabetes is also called impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
If you have pre-diabetes, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Being overweight and physically inactive contributes to pre-diabetes. You can sometimes reverse pre-diabetes with weight loss that comes from healthy eating and physical activity.
How do I know if I have pre-diabetes?
Most people with pre-diabetes don’t have any symptoms. Your doctor can test your blood to find out if your blood glucose levels are higher than normal.
Who should be tested for pre-diabetes?
If you are 45 years old or older, your doctor may recommend that you be tested for pre-diabetes, especially if you are overweight. Being overweight means your body mass index (BMI) is over 25. BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height. If you’re not sure, ask your doctor if you are overweight.
Even if you are younger than 45, consider getting tested if you are overweight and
are physically active less than three times a week
have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
have high blood pressure
have abnormal levels of HDL cholesterol or triglycerides, two types of blood fats
had gestational diabetes—diabetes during pregnancy—or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
are African American, American Indian, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
have polycystic ovary syndrome
have dark, thick, velvety skin around your neck or in your armpits
have blood vessel problems affecting your heart, brain, or legs
If the results are normal, you should be retested in 3 years. If you have pre-diabetes, you should be tested for type 2 diabetes every year or two.
What can I do about pre-diabetes?
Losing weight—at least 5 to 10 percent of your starting weight—can prevent or delay diabetes or even reverse pre-diabetes. That’s 10 to 20 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds. You can lose weight by cutting down on the amount of calories and fat you consume and being physically active at least 30 minutes a day. Physical activity also helps make your body’s insulin work better.
Ask your doctor if you should also take medicine to help control the amount of glucose in your blood.
The National Diabetes Education Program’s “Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes” campaign has more information about preventing diabetes.
Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes. Campaign
Millions of Americans are at high risk for diabetes, a serious and costly disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past 10 years. The good news: type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. To get this important information to those at risk, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has created the Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes campaign.
The NDEP has created campaign messages and materials for people at risk for diabetes, including those at high risk: African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, women with a history of gestational diabetes and older adults. In addition, the NDEP and its partners are promoting diabetes prevention to health care professionals to give them the information and tools to help their patients take small steps to prevent or delay the disease.
The Science Behind the Campaign
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a landmark study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, found that people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through increased physical activity and a reduced fat and lower calorie diet.
In the DPP, modest weight loss proved effective in preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes in all groups at high risk for the disease. To this end the Department of Health and Human Services’ NDEP is mobilizing its partners at the national, state, and local levels to promote the DPP’s findings.
The Campaign’s Message
Small Steps: If you have pre-diabetes (higher than normal blood glucose levels but not yet diabetes), losing a modest amount of weight – for example, 10 to 15 pounds for a 200-pound person – can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. You can do it by building up to 30 minutes of physical activity a day 5 days a week and following a low-calorie, low-fat eating plan.
Big Rewards: Preventing type 2 diabetes can mean a healthier and longer life without serious complications from the disease such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.
This topic is a big topic but, I hope this answers enough of your questions about pre-diabetes. If you need more help to put your Health and Exercise Prescription together please contact me.
Thank you for your time and enerergy…Be well
Health and Exercise Prescriptions Inc.
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