ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million Americans have diabetes. But those numbers are nothing compared to the 86 million people who have prediabetes. That means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. A diagnosis means it’s time for a change.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have prediabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes, especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys, may already be starting.
Alison Massey, RD, CDE, LDN, MS, the Director of Diabetes Education at Mercy Medical Center said, “Unless you are going to regular checkups and getting bloodwork done, you probably feel fine.”
Rapid weight loss, blurred vision or feeling thirsty all the time are not present in prediabetes.
“Starting at age 45, we should be screening every three years for type 2 diabetes. However, some people are at risk even earlier than that,” said Amber Champion, MD, Endocrinologist at Mercy Medical Center.
A study out of the New England Journal of Medicine found something more effective than any drug in reducing diabetes risk, especially if you’re prediabetic.
Dr. Champion told Ivanhoe, “Losing weight can really be beneficial in preventing the onset or delaying the onset of diabetes for many years.”
Dr. Champion said if you’re overweight, reduce your body weight by just five to seven percent, exercise at least 30 minutes, five times a week, and cut back on sugary drinks. Also, try to make vegetables 50 percent of each meal and increase your fiber intake. These lifestyle changes reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58 percent.
The CDC said as many as 30 percent of those with prediabetes progress to diabetes within five years.
Contributors to this news report include: Jessica Sanchez, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
DON’T LET PREDIABETES BECOME DIABETES
BACKGROUND: Diabetes is a disease where glucose levels in the blood are above normal. Glucose is used in our bodies as energy, and we produce this by the food we eat. The pancreas is the responsible organ for creating insulin which is the hormone that helps glucose get into the cells of our bodies. A person suffers from diabetes when not enough insulin is produced, or the insulin is not used as it should be resulting in accumulation of sugar in the blood. Around 21 million Americans are currently diagnosed with diabetes, and it is the seventh leading cause of death in the country. Nevertheless, there are 8 million Americans who are not diagnosed and who may be suffering from prediabetes.
PREDIABETES: Prediabetes is when a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. People who suffer from prediabetes are at risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Some risk factors for developing both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are:
- Age, especially if you are older than 45.
- Weight, being overweight or obese.
- Heredity, having a family member who has had diabetes.
- Ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American and Pacific Islander descendants are more prone to developing the disease.
- Being diabetic while pregnant.
- Giving birth to a baby who weighed 9 pounds or more.
- Being physically inactive, less than 3 times a week.
DIABETES PREVENTION: A study of more than 3,000 high-risk-for-diabetes people performed by the Diabetes Prevention Program (PDP), found that eating healthy and being physically active delays and possibly prevents prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The study found that it is important to at least:
- Lose 5 to 7% of total body weight, which equals to loosing 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person.
- Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 days a week; or 150 minutes per week
- Cut down on sugary foods and drinks
By following these steps, the disease can be completely avoided by 58% of prediabetics. Nevertheless, once a person turns 45, it is important that they are checked for type 2 diabetes every three years regardless of their age, weight or ethnicity.
(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prevention.html & Dr. Amber Champion)
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