1 in 3 US Adults Have Prediabetes and Most Don’t Know It. Am I at Risk?

What is prediabetes?

Over 38% of U.S. adults have prediabetes, and more than 8 in 10 of them don’t even know they have it.

Prediabetes means that you have a higher-than-normal blood sugar level; however, it isn’t high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes yet.

After food is consumed, your body turns carbohydrates into sugar that is then used as energy. When your body doesn’t need all the sugar you take in at once, you create insulin, a hormone that moves sugar into cells for use later. People with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar levels because they cannot properly store sugar in those cells.

You’re at risk for prediabetes if you:

  • Are overweight (BMI of 25 or more).
  • Are 45 years or older.
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Are not physically active.
  • Had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes or GDM) or gave birth to a baby who weighed over nine pounds.
  • Are of African American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Native American descent.

Signs of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is called a silent disease because many people won’t experience symptoms. Symptoms can include needing to urinate frequently, feeling thirsty, frequent infections, cuts/bruises that are slow to heal, tingling/numbness in the hands and feet, recurring skin, gum or bladder infections, tiredness, fatigue and having blurred vision.

Prevention and screening

You can delay and even prevent the onset of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by engaging in a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Early detection is key to delaying and avoiding complications. Screening for diabetes, specifically with a routine blood test, is suggested at least every three years in patients with any of the risk factors listed above. Talk with your primary care physician at Clinica Medica Familiar to find out your personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes.