What is prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a term used to describe individuals with an elevated risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Diagnosis is based around an individual’s HbA1c level (and a few other diagnostic tests such as fasting blood glucose, etc). HbA1c is a measurement of your average blood sugar over the past 2-3 months. For prediabetes, the diagnostic range falls between 5.7% and 6.4%. Diagnosis for diabetes would be a level of over 6.5%. Diabetes is a condition in which your body cannot properly process the sugar from your bloodstream and can lead to many complications. It can lead to increased risk for heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and even nerve damage or loss of limbs if it is not managed properly.
How do I know if I have it?
You should talk to your doctor and ask if he or she is checking an HbA1c level during your normal blood work. Normally they are, but doctors are only lately starting to pay more attention to screening for prediabetes. According to the CDC, around 90% of individuals are unaware of their prediabetes status. (CDC)
Why is it important to know I have prediabetes?
Knowing you have prediabetes can actually help you prevent a diabetes diagnosis. Through research, the CDC has developed steps that you can take to reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes by around 58% (NIDDK). This diagnosis is a chance for you to start taking steps to improve your health.
What can I do?
From this research, the CDC developed a plan to reduce progression to diabetes. The goals include working towards 150 minutes of physical activity a week and aiming for sustained 5-7% weight loss. The best part is, you don’t have to do this alone. The CDC has Diabetes Prevention Programs all over the country, and Pack Health is one of them! In fact, ours is offered virtually to make it even easier for you. Click here to sign up! You can have support on your journey should you find out you have prediabetes.
So take the time to talk to your doctor about checking for prediabetes. In this case, a diagnosis can be your best chance of improving your health.