The epidemic of prediabetes

The Centers for Disease Control released the latest update on diabetes in the United States: 29.1 million diabetics and 86 million prediabetics. This article will touch briefly on the prediabetic epidemic occurring throughout America.

Diabetes is a chronic, yet manageable disease process. Knowledge is power. First, though, one must know the facts. Prediabetes often has no symptoms. Prediabetes is defined as “higher than normal blood sugar levels” but not high enough to meet the diagnosis criteria for diabetes. Unfortunately, left untreated, prediabetes can cause health issues, and progress to diabetes.

Symptoms for diabetes may include any of the following. As these symptoms may also represent other medical problems, it is important to discuss these findings with your healthcare provider. Early diagnosis and treatment of prediabetes/diabetes can lower the risk of complications and even slow down the progression of the disease process itself.

The following list of symptoms is from the American Diabetes Association website :

· Urinating often

· Feeling very thirsty

· Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating

· Extreme fatigue

· Blurry vision

· Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

· Weight loss - even though you are eating more (type 1)

· Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Risk factors for diabetes are also varied. Being “at risk for diabetes” doesn’t mean you will get diabetes. It simply means your should focus efforts on maintaining the best health status overall, which also reduces your risk of other chronic illnesses. Again, knowledge is power. Once you know your risk factors, you can take active steps to lower your personal risk of developing diabetes. You can assess your personal risk factors on the American Diabetes Association website .

The following websites can assist you and your family members live a long, healthy life.

· American Diabetes Association ( www.diabetes.org)

· National Diabetes Education Program (www.NDEP.NIH.GOV)

· Your Diabetes Life (www.Dlife.com)

· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.CDC.gov/diabetes/)

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