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Recognizing the signs of prediabetes

By Kelly Berry • Mar 19, 2018 at 2:00 AM

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that as of 2015, 84.1 million people nationally have prediabetes, a condition that, if untreated, often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.

Locally, the 2017 Huron County Health Assessment identified eight percent of Huron County adults as having diabetes and an additional seven percent with prediabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

Prediabetes, a precursor to diabetes, is a serious health condition that increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes and other conditions like heart disease and stroke.

If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The cells in your body don’t respond normally to insulin so your pancreas produces more to get them to respond. Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for type 2 diabetes.

You can have prediabetes for years with no clear symptoms.

It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have risk factors for diabetes, including:

• Age 45 or older

• BMI greater than 25.0

• Previously impaired fasting glucose

• A family history of type 2 diabetes

• Being physically active less than 3 times a week

• A previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than nine pounds

• A diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome

If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, there are lifestyle-related ways to reduce your risk for developing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes, such as:

• Adding healthy food choices with portion control to your diet

• Losing seven percent of your body weight

• Increasing physical activity to 30 minutes five days per week

• Implementing and taking medications as prescribed by your physician.

Fisher-Titus offers Diabetes Education classes for those interested in learning more about diabetes management. The hospital also provides individual consultations with a registered nurse and a registered dietitian for those diagnosed with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The registered dietitian also provides consultation for those in need of weight loss management. Ask your physician for a referral. For more information, call 419-660-2596.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kelly Berry is a registered dietitian at Fisher-Titus Medical Center who specializes in weight loss, diabetes and healthy eating.

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