Prediabetes sounds like an almost diagnosis, a warning perhaps that it’s time to maybe start thinking about your health. When patients are told they have prediabetes or “borderline” diabetes, they may feel some sense of relief that they don’t have diabetes. But if you have prediabetes, you are already sick. Your body is not working right, and you will get sicker if you don’t take action.
People are at risk of having prediabetes if they are over 45 years old, overweight, have a family history of diabetes, are physically inactive, or have had gestational diabetes.
About one third of adults in the United States have prediabetes, and most are not aware of it. That’s more than 80 million people who are already on their way to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.
Prediabetes means your body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should (insulin resistance). Blood sugar levels are higher than they should be and damage to organs begins.
The good news is that prediabetes can be reversed, and diabetes can be avoided if patients are motivated to take action.
The most effective thing patients can do to reverse prediabetes is to lose weight.
Medications like metformin can help improve insulin resistance, and may help with weight loss also.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be extreme to make a difference either. A loss of 5-7% of body weight can greatly reduce the risk of progressing to diabetes. That’s 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person, or 15-21 pounds for a 300 pound person.
Participating in a Diabetes Prevention Program is a great way to learn more about the disease, and to reduce the risk of developing it.
Take a quick test to see if you are at risk https://www.cdc.gov/prediabetes/takethetest/