by Jaclynn Thacker, MSN, RN FNP-C
Family Nurse Practitioner
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:
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, https://doihaveprediabetes.org/ 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 https://sichc.org/community/
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 https://www.in.gov/health/tpc/resources/
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 https://diabetes.org/healthy-living.
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.