Prediabetes: Symptoms, causes, and risk factors
When someone has prediabetes, their blood glucose levels are high but not yet high enough to be a sign of type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is very common, affecting 1 in 3 American adults.
Getting enough exercise, eating a wholesome diet, and maintaining a healthy weight can reverse symptoms of prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.
What is prediabetes?
Insulin is a hormone responsible for transporting sugar from the bloodstream to the cells to use for energy.
When a person has prediabetes, their body cannot use insulin effectively.
Sometimes this results in the cells not getting enough sugar, which leaves too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream.
High blood sugar levels can cause serious health complications, especially damage to the blood vessels, heart, and kidney.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 86 million Americans have prediabetes, but many do not know they have the condition.
Most people who have prediabetes don't experience any symptoms. By the time they do, it's usually a sign that the condition has progressed to type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association suggests that people should consider blood-screening tests when they are about 45 years old.
However, glucose testing should begin earlier for those with risk factors for diabetes, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes.
Several blood sugar tests can confirm a prediabetes diagnosis. Doctors will repeat tests two or three times before making an official diagnosis.
Here are the most common diagnostic tests.
Glycated hemoglobin ( Continue reading