The number of Americans with diabetes has increased four times over the past 30 years. In an effort to bring those numbers down, the Centers for Disease Control wants to bring awareness to prediabetes, a condition that affects 86 million people across the country, and is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. One of the reasons the CDC is bringing attention to prediabetes is that only 10% of people with the condition know they have it.
With prediabetes, a person’s blood sugar (also known as glucose) levels are higher than they should be but not quite high enough to diagnose someone as diabetic. However, a person with prediabetes who does not address the problem can develop type 2 diabetes in under a decade. The numbers are even more alarming for those over the age of 45. A study conducted over a 15 year period found almost three-quarters of people with elevated glucose levels at age 45 developed diabetes.
Doctors have found the following can put you at a greater risk for prediabetes and diabetes:
- Being overweight, especially with a large waist size
- Being sedentary and inactive
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Having had gestational diabetes
Also, while minorities such as African Americans and Latinos have been found to have an increased risk of developing diabetes, women over 45 should be especially concerned. Female hormones affect the body’s storage of fat and once a woman turns 40, her muscle mass changes, many times being replaced by fat.
There are actions you can take to combat prediabetes. Cut back on sugary foods and sodas while increasing the amount fruits, vegetables and whole grains you eat. Get some form of physical activity that you enjoy on a daily basis so you keep moving without it feeling like a chore. Concentrate on trying to lose 10-20 pounds instead of overwhelming yourself with undertaking a massive weight loss. These small steps can make a big difference with your health.
While there are no symptoms for prediabetes, a simple blood test can let you and your doctor know if you are at risk. With diabetes leading to serious medical conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, amputation and blindness, it is imperative to know your diagnosis so you can start the correct course of treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered from complications due to diabetes because a doctor did not provide the proper care, contact an experienced lawyer at Finz & Finz, P.C., to hold these doctors accountable.