There are a lot of misconceptions that exist about diabetes, especially concerning the people at risk and the signs of its development. For many people, it’s a struggle to deal with type 2 diabetes, and it seems to develop without warning. More than one out of three American adults have prediabetes, a condition that can lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes if it goes untreated.
What’s more shocking is that about 80 percent of these individuals don’t know they have it, because it doesn’t necessarily exhibit symptoms until serious health problems develop sometimes years later. Pay attention to these five facts about prediabetes in order to stay informed and in good health.
There are risk factors for developing prediabetes
You have more of a risk of developing prediabetes if you are overweight, 45 years old or older, have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes, are physically active less than three times a week, or ever had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds. If you identify as having one of these factors, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested.
Diabetes is harder to live with than prediabetes
Not surprisingly, type 2 diabetes is harder to manage than prediabetes. This is because type 2 diabetes comes with a wide variety of health problems, including kidney failure, blindness, and nerve damage. Nerve damage can lead to amputation of a toe, foot, or leg.
While type 2 diabetes is hard to live with due to its various complications, prediabetes can be managed and reversed. Losing weight, getting regular muscle-building exercise, and eating healthy can all contribute to effectively reversing prediabetes.
How to determine if you have prediabetes
It’s easy to find out if your blood sugar levels are abnormal or fall in the prediabetic category. Simply talk to your doctor about having your blood sugar levels tested. Prediabetes levels of blood sugar fall in the range of 100-125 when blood glucose is measured fasting.
Sometimes there are signs of prediabetes
Occasionally there are signs consistent with prediabetes development, but these are not exclusive determinants of the condition. These can include frequent urination, blurry or cloudy vision, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, and excessive thirst. However, it’s also common not to experience these symptoms. Signs of type 2 diabetes are similar, and can also include unexplained weight loss.