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Did You know? – Prediabetes – Awareness Can Save You!

Prediabetes – Awareness Can Save You!

by Jaclynn Thacker, MSN, RN FNP-C
Family Nurse Practitioner

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Approximately 96 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 80% don’t know they have it. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, blindness, and other serious health conditions.

Becoming aware and making a few lifestyle changes, even over time, can change the quality of your life and decrease your risk factors for type 2 diabetes.


Warning Signs & Symptoms

You can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes, which include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Being physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome

Race and ethnicity are also a factor: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk.


Take the Test  

The Pre-diabetes Risk Test provided by the CDC, can help you determine if you’re a candidate for prediabetes. If you score in a positive or questionable range, call your doctor and get an appointment to get checked out. 

Make a Few Adjustments  

The good news is that if you have prediabetes, a few lifestyle changes could delay or prevent you from having diabetes. Here are a few great starting places:

1) Lose weight – If you are overweight, lose between 5-7% of your current weight, setting manageable goals is key to victory  

2) Get active – Start simple with something that can bring you joy; check out our website  

3) Eat healthier – Add vegetables (maybe roasted or grilled – try it, it is amazing!); Avoid fried foods. 

4) Manage stress – Find out how to manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can slow your progress. 

5) Quit smoking – If this applies to you, quit smoking! Check out The Indiana Tobacco Quitline 


Getting with the Programs
There are many online resources to help, like the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program; or learn about healthy living through the ADA’s

Getting signed-up with an online diabetes program is a good way to take in some fresh ideas and garner support. 

Healthy choices in your life today can change the course of your life and health.

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