By Padmalatha Berikai, M.D.
Endocrinologist, Rush Copley Medical Group
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Pre-diabetes can progress to diabetes.
Studies have shown pre-diabetes is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and abdominal obesity.
It is estimated that 17 million Americans have type 2 diabetes and one third of them are undiagnosed because they may not have symptoms in the early stages.
Lifestyle changes like diet control, exercise and some medications have been shown to be useful to treat pre-diabetes and help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Get a Blood Test — If you are at risk for pre-diabetes,have your blood glucose levels tested.
Lose Weight — Losing only five percent to seven percent of your body weight can help bring blood glucose down to normal ranges.
Exercise— Get at least 30 minutes of activity a day, five days a week. Fat blunts insulin's ability to lower blood glucose and with less fat on board, your blood glucose can normalize.
Quit Smoking — Diabetes is not the only reason to quit smoking as it contributes to many other health problems.