WHAT IS PREDIABETES?
Prediabetes is a health condition characterized by slightly elevated blood sugar levels and is most prevalent in older adults. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. and one half of all Americans over the age of 65 have Prediabetes. Research has shown that those individuals who maintain these slightly higher than normal blood sugar levels are at a much higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and, potentially, all the complications that go with it. Prediabetes is not classified as a disease but is recognized as a condition that precipitates or leads to disease. Identifying your risk as early as possible gives you the opportunity to stop the progression. Making lifestyle changes and acquiring good eating habits are usually all that is required to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Since Prediabetes is asymptomatic, identifying the presence of risk factors most often associated with the condition is what triggers a screening test. Age (over 45), weight (overweight), family history of Type 2 Diabetes (parent, brother, or sister diagnosed) and lack of exercise (less than three times a week) are all risk factors that make you prone to Prediabetes. If you had Gestational Diabetes or have polycystic ovary syndrome, you are also more susceptible.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
If you have met the age or any two of the other requirements, it is imperative that you have your blood sugar level checked. After age 45, you should be tested every three years if your levels are normal. If your blood glucose (sugar) level is consistently between 100 and 125 mg/dL, other tests will be performed to confirm your diagnosis.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Since you cannot change your age or your family history, that leaves decreasing your weight by eating right and exercising as your treatment plan. Esse Health has many programs, including group Prediabetes support meetings, and multiple Esse Team members (Dieticians, Counselors, Nurse Practitioners, and Physicians) that can help you set and meet your goals. Take control of your health and your life. Talk to your Esse Health team member about Prediabetes.
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