As you look for seconds this holiday season, it's important to keep in mind that you may already have a condition known as prediabetes.
An astonishing number of Americans have prediabetes, and most aren’t even aware of it, according to national reports and studies. As the holidays roll around, many people are loosening their belts, but statistics show that one of the top killers of Americans, diabetes, may be lurking just around the corner for those who don’t change their ways.
A staggering 86 million people are estimated to have prediabetes, and nine in 10 people are completely unaware of that. If left untreated, it can turn into Type 2 diabetes in just a few years, putting sufferers at risk of a premature death, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Risk factors include obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, so the cure for prediabetes or even diabetes is to change one’s lifestyle. And you don’t necessarily have to lose a ton of weight to lower your risk of getting diabetes, as a large nationwide study showed that a 7 percent dip in body weight correlated with a 58 percent lower risk of getting the disease.
“Prediabetes means you have blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes,” the US National Library of Medicine says on its website. “Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Too much glucose in your blood can damage your body over time. If you have prediabetes, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Most people with prediabetes don’t have any symptoms. Your doctor can use an A1C test or another blood test to find out if your blood glucose levels are higher than normal. If you are 45 years old or older, your doctor may recommend that you be tested for prediabetes, especially if you are overweight.”