Although diabetes is pretty well known among Americans, prediabetes is a condition that often flies under the radar.
In fact, there are over 88 million American adults with prediabetes, approximately one in three people! What’s even more surprising is that 85% of people with prediabetes don’t even know that they have it.
Although prediabetes isn’t full blown diabetes, it is still a serious health condition. Prediabetes occurs when someone’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing various health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or even stroke.
The scary thing about prediabetes is that it can often go undetected. Many people with this health condition can go years without any visible symptoms, which can be dangerous as serious health issues can go undetected.
Thankfully, prediabetes can be reversed with healthy changes to a person’s lifestyle. Talking to your doctor about your blood sugar levels is a good first step if you think you may be at risk of developing this condition.
Risk Factors for Prediabetes
Some risk factors for prediabetes include:
- Low levels of physical activity
- Obesity or being overweight
- Having a history of type 2 diabetes in your immediate family
- Race or ethnicity
- Diabetes during pregnancy (gestational)
If left unchecked, prediabetes risks can lead to real serious health issues related to diabetes. This disease can affect many organs in the body and cause complications with the eyes/vision, kidneys, and damage to the nerves. Nerve damage can even lead to potential amputation of a person’s limbs, such as a leg, foot, or fingers/toes.
In addition to physical damage, diabetes also raises the risk of developing mental health problems such as depression. This makes it much harder for someone to properly manage their health in the long run.
Thankfully, prediabetes can be addressed before it’s too late. If you find yourself at risk for developing this health condition, take steps to reduce your risk factors wherever possible.
For example, if you are obese, get some support in developing a prediabetes nutrition plan. If you aren’t very active, start taking a daily walk to boost your activity levels. Just thirty minutes of activity a day can help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Although it can be tempting to ignore the risk of prediabetes, it is in your best interest to take a proactive approach to preventing this condition. Doing so can protect your eyesight, heart health, and shield your nerves from damage caused by high blood sugar levels.
Visiting your doctor and ophthalmologist regularly is a great way to catch symptoms that may be going undetected. This is especially true if you are at risk for developing prediabetes for any reason. Take charge of your health and commit to living a healthier lifestyle. Doing so can save you years of health problems and dramatically improve your quality of life.
If you’re wondering whether you have prediabetes, click here to take a fast risk test.