What is Prediabetes
What is prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a “pre-diagnosis” of diabetes—you can think of it as a warning sign. This condition arises when your blood glucose level (blood sugar level) is higher than normal but it’s not high enough to be considered diabetes.
Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, 90% don’t know they have it
Why might this matter? Prediabetes is an indication that you could develop type 2 diabetes if you don’t make some immediate and lasting lifestyle changes.
Diabetes develops very gradually, so when you’re in the prediabetes stage—when your blood glucose level is higher than it should be—you may not have any symptoms at all. You may, however, notice that:
you’re hungrier than normal
you’re losing weight, despite eating more
you’re thirstier than normal
you have to go to the bathroom more frequently
you’re more tired than usual
All of those are typical symptoms associated with diabetes, so if you’re in the early stages of diabetes, you may notice one or more of them.
If you don’t have enough insulin or if you’re insulin resistant, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps prediabetes.
Weight: If you’re overweight (have a body mass index—a BMI—of higher than 25), you’re at high risk for developing prediabetes, especially if you carry a lot of extra weight in your abdomen, you may develop prediabetes. The extra fat cells can cause your body to become more insulin resistant.
Lack of physical activity: This often goes hand-in-hand with being overweight. If you aren’t physically active, you’re more likely to develop prediabetes.
Family history: Prediabetes has a hereditary factor. If someone in your close family has (or had) it, you are more likely to develop it.
Age: The older you are, the more at risk you are for developing prediabetes. At age 45, your risk starts to rise, and after age 65, your risk increases exponentially.
Other health problems: High blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol (the “bad” LDL cholesterol) increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
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