If you have prediabetes, you probably don’t know it.
You can prevent type 2 diabetes!
About 1 in every 3 adult Americans has prediabetes. For those over 65, 1 in every 2 has prediabetes. In Massachusetts, there may be as many as 1.8 million adults who have prediabetes.
Prediabetes happens when blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. People with prediabetes are much more likely to develop diabetes than people with normal blood sugar levels. A simple blood test can determine your blood sugar levels.
If you think you might be at risk for prediabetes or diabetes, ask your doctor for a blood test to measure glucose. Knowing these results is the first step in preventing a more serious illness.
Certain behaviors or characteristics can increase your chance of developing diabetes or prediabetes. We call these risk factors. Some risk factors you can change and some you cannot. Here are some common risk factors for prediabetes:
Things You Can Change
- Weight (being overweight or obese) – being at a healthy weight can help prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases.
- Activity Level – moving more can do a lot for your health, including lowering your risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more.
- Diet – healthy eating, including eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, is one of the most important steps you can take to lower your risk for diabetes.
- Blood pressure – having high blood pressure increases your risk for diabetes. If you have high blood pressure, work with your health care provider to lower your blood pressure.
- Cholesterol – high cholesterol can raise your risk for diabetes and heart disease.
Learn more on the things you can change from the American Diabetes Association.
Things You Can’t Change
- Older age – people 45 and older are at higher risk for developing diabetes
- Race/Ethnicity – African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders have a higher risk for developing diabetes
- Family History – Having a family history of diabetes increases your risk
- History of Gestational Diabetes – If you had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy you are at an increased risk for developing diabetes
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome your risk for diabetes is increased
Learn more about the things you can’t change from the American Diabetes Association.
If you have prediabetes, you can prevent diabetes.
Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15-30% of people with prediabetes will develop type-2 diabetes within five years.
Research studies have shown that making small changes in your lifestyle can reduce your risk of diabetes. These changes are:
- Losing 7% of bodyweight (about 15 lbs. if you weigh 200 lbs.)
- Exercising at least 150 minutes a week (about 30 minutes, five days a week)
People with prediabetes who completed a program to help make these changes were 58% less likely to develop diabetes three years later than people who did not. Learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program in Massachusetts and if it might be right for you.
- Know your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
- Take the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Risk Test: Diabetes Risk Test
Resources From Other Agencies
- CDC Prediabetes Could it Be You?
- CDC Prediabetes Website
- National Diabetes Prevention Program Working Together to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Diet and exercise can greatly reduce your risk for developing diabetes. Check out these tips for healthy eating and active living:
- Mass in Motion
- Getting Started with Healthy Eating
- Moving More for Busy People file size 1MB
- Six Ways to Eat Better and Move More
- Be Active as a Family