We’ve all heard about type II diabetes. Its rate of diagnosis, if not addressed, will reach epidemic proportions. Many of us have a friend or family member who have been diagnosed. But have you ever heard of prediabetes? Did you know that prediabetes affects approximately one in three U.S. adults?
Prediabetes is when an individual’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be considered type II diabetes.
Dr. Ben Chan, New Hampshire’s state epidemiologist, says, “Prediabetes is this transition zone between somebody that has normal blood sugar and when they go on to develop overt diabetes-level blood sugars.”
What can you do to reduce your risks of developing prediabetes and type II diabetes?
Dr. Chan explains that two of the biggest and most modifiable risk factors for prediabetes and type II diabetes are obesity and lack of physical activity.
Diabetes can carry with it multiple risk factors for other health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and amputations. Needless to say, it’s important to stay on top of your health care and know your risks.
Some things you can do to reduce your risks are:
- Schedule regular check-ups with your primary care physician.
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Dr. Chan notes that weight loss is as effective if not MORE effective than blood sugar medication.
- Get and stay active.
- Know the early warning signs. The most common symptoms of recently diagnosed diabetics are frequent urination, constant thirst, blurred vision, slowing wound healing, and fatigue.
If you struggle with maintaining the healthier lifestyle changes, it may be helpful to utilize a preventative program for support. These programs have successfully helped patients with prediabetes and type II diabetes reduce their risks and even reverse their conditions. Programs found in functional medicine use in-depth testing and evaluations to determine exactly what is missing in your lifestyle that could be causing your health to decline. Prediabetes and type II diabetes numbers are skyrocketing, but there is good news. There are things you can do and programs available to reduce your risks and allow you to live a long and healthy life.