One out of three adults — 86 million Americans — has prediabetes, but 90 percent of them don’t know it, according to the CDC. Prediabetes occurs when your blood glucose (sugar) levels fall above normal but below Type 2 diabetes levels.
You may be at risk for prediabetes if you:
- Are 45 or older
- Have a family history of Type 2 diabetes
- Have high blood pressure
- Participate in physical activity fewer than three times a week
- Had gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
If you have prediabetes, you may be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within five years. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of heart attack; stroke; kidney failure; blindness; and the loss of toes, feet or legs.
The good news is you can reverse prediabetes. If your doctor tells you that you have prediabetes, he may recommend that you start by losing weight through a combination of healthy eating and exercise. Not sure where to begin? Scale back your portions and choose healthy snacks, like fruit or nuts, instead of empty calories like chips or candy. Try to do something active every day, even if it’s simply taking a walk through the neighborhood. Consider getting a pedometer or a fitness tracker to help monitor your progress and motivate you to keep practicing healthy habits.
Most importantly, talk with your doctor if you think you might have prediabetes. She’ll be able to test your glucose levels and help you devise a plan to reverse prediabetes. Don’t have a physician? Search for one near you.