Prediabetes is a serious and growing problem in the United States. Nationally, 1 in 3 adults has prediabetes and most of them do not know they have it. Prediabetes is not just a concern for adults. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report found that nearly 1 in 5 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years, and 1 in 4 young adults aged 19 to 34 years, are living with prediabetes.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. If people with prediabetes do not manage their condition, they may develop type 2 diabetes in the future. Though these statistics are alarming, the good news is that there are many ways to manage prediabetes and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Who is at Risk for Developing Prediabetes?
- Age, gender, family history, high blood pressure, being overweight and lack of physical activity, can all increase your risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
- Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. If glucose levels are not managed, both mother and child will have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes during their lifetime.
- Prediabetes is more common in African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Take the Prediabetes Risk Test
If you’re not sure where you stand, take the online prediabetes risk test to find out, then follow up with your doctor. For most people, there’s still time to turn things around and reverse prediabetes. If diabetes runs in your family, or if you have symptoms, it is best to ask a doctor to test your blood sugar.
What Can You Do to Reverse Prediabetes and Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?
Lose a small amount of weight: If you’re overweight, losing just 5-7% of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk. For example, for a person who weighs 200 pounds and is overweight, losing about 10-15 pounds could improve their blood sugar and lower their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Take a break from sitting too long: Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Walking is a great way to reach your weight and activity goals. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase your time.
Make half your plate vegetables: Veggies are low in carbohydrates, have fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and can help keep you feeling full longer. Find diabetes-friendly recipes here.
Drink more water and less sugar-sweetened beverages: Reduce sugar-sweetened drinks including soda, sweetened coffees, and teas. Try these great flavored water recipes instead.
Talk with your healthcare provider: Set reasonable goals together. If you don’t have a doctor, call one of these low-cost clinics for help.
Quit tobacco products: Call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit our website to learn more. Smoking and using tobacco products increase the risk of serious health problems associated with diabetes.
The Southern Nevada Health District offers a free online diabetes prevention program and a variety of apps and resources to help you with your healthy lifestyle goals. The online diabetes prevention program can help you make better nutritional choices, increase your physical activity and link you to other helpful resources and programs including the Nutrition Challenge and Walk Around Nevada programs. There is no cost for our programs, apps or resources!
Members of the editorial and news staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal were not involved in the creation of this content.