Prediabetes - Risk and Prevention

Prediabetes, defined as an elevated fasting blood sugar, is the result of a lack of adequate amounts of insulin or poorly functioning insulin. While this condition can be influenced by heredity, we can make great strides in reducing its incidence by taking several actions. Over the past 10 years there's been a marked increase in the number of cases of diabetes and prediabetes. Below are some significant facts regarding this condition and things you can do to avoid it.

1) Diseases associated with diabetes/prediabetes: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. Diabetes/prediabetes cost the American healthcare system $245 billion in 2013.

2) Incidence of diabetes/prediabetes. 12% of the population is diagnosed with diabetes with an additional 37% diagnosed with prediabetes. 30% of the pre-diabetics will be diagnosed with diabetes within five years. In individuals greater than 65 years old, 50% are diagnosed as prediabetics.

3) There are things you can do if diagnosed with this problem! Losing as little as 7% of your body weight often reverses the problem. It's also currently recommended that you engage in 150 minutes of exercise per week. This can be as simple as energetic walking. The last component is to modify your diet to a low glycemic diet, meaning a glycemic index of less than 65. You can find a glycemic chart by googling glycemic index.

4) The diagnosis of diabetes/prediabetes can be made with a simple blood draw looking at two values in your blood. Your doctor will ask you to fast for 10 to 12 hours prior to your blood draw. The components he will be looking for are fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c. This gives him the ability to know your average blood sugar for the past 2 to 3 months.

5) If you're concerned about the risk of diabetes you can take a simple test to evaluate your risk.