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Health Risks of Prediabetes

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Health Risks of Prediabetes

Two African-American women exercising together in the city, jogging or power walking, laughing and conversing. Buildings and trees are out of focus in the background. The one in pink is in her 60s and her friend is in her 50s.

According to the CDC, more than one in three Americans are living with prediabetes, and more than 80% of them don’t even know they have it. The danger in not knowing you have prediabetes and leaving it untreated is that it can develop into type 2 diabetes, which puts you at higher risk for other serious complications, including:

  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye disease
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Skin problems

Fortunately, prediabetes can be reversed, which is why it’s so important to address it early.

Getting Screened

Because so many people with prediabetes don’t know they have it, yearly diabetes testing is key to identifying and reversing it, particularly if one or more of these characteristics applies to you:

  • 45 years of age and older
  • African, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Native American descent
  • Overweight or obese
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Family history of diabetes
  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, or cardiovascular disease
  • HIV positive
  • Woman with a history of gestational diabetes
  • Woman with polycystic ovary syndrome

What You Can Do

If you do have prediabetes, making changes to your diet and lifestyle can go a long way toward reversing it and preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. Exercising regularly is always a good idea, as well as losing weight if you’re overweight. Reducing your intake of sweets, refined carbs, and fatty meats can also lower your blood sugar, especially if you improve your diet with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And of course, if you’re a smoker, you should quit immediately – whether you have prediabetes or not.

If you or someone close to you has prediabetes, or if you think you might be at risk for prediabetes, schedule an appointment today to speak with a provider for testing or treatment options.

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