What is the best way to screen for Prediabetes and What Can I do if I have prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a diagnosis that gives us the opportunity to avoid developing diabetes and any of the complications that accompany it. I often refer to this as a warning sign… like the red “check-engine” light that comes on when your car needs servicing. Looking at the diagnosis as an opportunity to improve our health can dramatically shift our response to a new diagnosis and the actions we take.
There are multiple available tests that are used to evaluate for prediabetes and diabetes. If a blood test shows that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes, it is called “pre-diabetes.” The most commonly used tests are:
One test measures glucose after fasting.
Impaired fasting glucose consistent with pre-diabetes is between 100-125 mg/dL.
Diabetes is diagnosed with a fasting glucose of 126 mg/dL or higher.
Another test, Hemoglobin A1C, measures how much glucose has attached to red blood cells and provides a view of your blood sugar levels over the past three months. This test does not require fasting.
An A1C value of 5.7 percent to 6.4 percent is classified as prediabetes.
An A1C value of 6.5 percent or higher is consistent with diabetes.
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If you have pre-diabetes, you can make lifestyle changes to lower the chance of developing diabetes. Here’s what you can do to prevent Diabetes:
Eat a healthy diet – Try to eat a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, but low in meats, sweets, and refined grains. Basic principles of healthy eating, portion control and counting carbohydrates will serve you well.
Weight Loss- If you are overweight, trying to get to a healthy body weight can help. Losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can lower your risk a lot. Your doctor can help you find healthy ways to do this.
Physical Activity: be active for 30 minutes a day – You don’t have to go to the gym or do heavy exercise to get a benefit. Activities like walking, gardening, and dancing can all help improve your health.
Quit smoking – If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how to quit. People are much more likely to succeed if they have help when quitting.
Consider medical interventions –You might try a medication to lower your chances of developing diabetes, especially if lifestyle changes aren’t helping enough. One drug that is often recommend in these cases for persons with prediabetes is metformin. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Uncontrolled diabetes is a serious disease with complications that include kidney failure, limb and vision loss. The diagnosis of Prediabetes is an opportunity to change the trajectory of your health and wellness journey. Educate yourself and ensure you are working with a doctor you trust to answer all of your questions, all of the time.
What are the Signs of Diabetes? Why should I be screened for Prediabetes if I don’t have any symptoms?
Since 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes (most of whom do not know they have it) and the risk increases with age… everyone should be tested based on their risk. Middle age is when prediabetes and diabetes diagnoses really begin to spike, but some younger people are at higher risk.
What increases my risk for type 2 diabetes?
There are a few things that can increase your risk of diabetes, these include:
Being overweight or having obesity, especially if you carry your extra weight in your belly area
Being 45 years old or older
Not doing enough physical activity
History of diabetes during pregnancy, called “gestational diabetes”
History of polycystic ovary syndrome
History of high blood pressure
Family history of diabetes
African American or Latino
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Excessive thirst Excessive hunger Increased frequency in urination Weight loss
But you can have both DIABETES and PREDIABETES for years without any symptoms
A really important piece for improving your health and wellness is the ease with which you can obtain information from a trustworthy source. Are you able to call your doctor directly and get all your questions answered? If you are looking for a physician who makes it simple to get your health care needs met, schedule your initial free consultation today.
What is prediabetes? Who is at risk? A look at the myths about 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. In fact, most people are not aware that they should be routinely screened.
So what is the harm in having prediabetes?
Prediabetes significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. As with anything… knowledge is power.
The good news is that if you have prediabetes, which is easily detected on bloodwork, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
Is prediabetes more common than you thought? Learn more about ways that you can maximize your wellness by setting up a FREE initial consultation with Dr Diaz to create a customized health plan based on your personal wellness goals.
Today we are going to dispel some common myths about Diabetes.
Myth: You’re not at risk for Diabetes if you’re a healthy weight
Being obese or overweight is associated with a number of health problems, and it increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. This does not mean that you are immune to the disease if you maintain a healthy weight, however. Even people at a healthy weight can have diabetes
Myth: No One in My Family Has Diabetes, so I Can’t Get It
Having a close family member with type 2 diabetes does put you at increased risk for developing the condition. But the risk of diabetes goes up with age. The risk is higher in people with heart disease, high blood pressure, and who have excess weight or obesity, regardless of family history. Although you might not be able to change your family history or age, you can practice a healthy lifestyle to cut your risk.
Myth: There’s Nothing That You Can Do to Prevent Diabetes
Even though genetics factor into your risk for type 2 diabetes, lifestyle choices play an important role in preventing diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight, daily exercise and healthy diet modifications can help reduce your risk for diabetes. Smoking can make it difficult for your body to use insulin, so not smoking can help decrease your risk for diabetes, as well. Alcohol consumption can also play a role.
Myth: It’s Your Fault if you have Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious chronic disease, and people with diabetes are not to blame. There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, and while lifestyle factors do contribute to your risk for type 2 diabetes, even type 2 diabetes is not entirely preventable.
Myth: Diabetes is Inconvenient but not Serious
Diabetes results in more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS put together. There are several risks and complications associated with diabetes, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation that impact the quality of life significantly.
Next week we will take a look at how you can figure out your risk for prediabetes and determine what type of screening is appropriate. Knowledge is Power. Sign up to receive “Mondays with your MD” for FREE and take control of your health today.