November is American Diabetes Month®, and to support the American Diabetes Association’s efforts to put this chronic disease in the spotlight, our diabetes educators, Mary Beth and Melissa, answering some commonly asked questions.
Q. What is prediabetes?
Mary Beth: Before people develop Type 2 diabetes, they almost always have prediabetes, which means their blood sugar is higher than it should be, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Prediabetes is a warning sign.
Q. How do I know if I have prediabetes?
Melissa: There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so you may have it and not know it. In fact, 84 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, but 90%, or 75.6 million, of them don’t know it.
Q. What can I do to prevent getting Type 2 diabetes?
Mary Beth: Having prediabetes is not a guarantee you will automatically develop Type 2 diabetes. For some people, early treatment can actually return blood sugar levels to the normal range. Knowing your risk factors and making lifestyle changes can also help prevent diabetes.
Melissa: I’ll add that research shows you can lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
• Losing weight if you are overweight (just dropping 10-15 pounds can make a difference)
• Engaging in moderate exercise such as brisk walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week
What’s Your Risk?
Are you at risk for developing diabetes? Take a risk test to find out!