79 million Americans over the age of 20 have prediabetes
Condition leading to Type 2 diabetes condition is threatening in its own right
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels that can permanently damage heart, eye, kidney, nerve and other tissues. What's not as widely known is the fact that many people are "prediabetic," which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. No less than 79 million Americans over the age of 20 have prediabetes, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, especially worrisome as prediabetes is nearly always a red flag for type 2 diabetes.
Two simple, relatively inexpensive tests will tell you whether you have prediabetes: fasting blood glucose, which offers a 'snapshot' of the glucose in your blood after going without food for about 8-9 hours, and A1C, which provides an average amount of glucose in the blood over the past three to four months.
Now, due to widespread testing and massive public education programs, most people know their blood cholesterol levels -- health professionals wish that blood glucose levels garnered equal attention.
"Prediabetes is a huge health problem that is not being addressed to the fullest," certified diabetes educator Hope Warshaw, RD says, the author of "Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy" and five other books about diabetes.
Experts agree that knowing your blood glucose level helps determine your chances for type 2 diabetes. If you're in the danger zone, Warshaw and Rubino suggest you waste no time tackling the problem.
"By the time you're diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may have lost between 50% and 80% of your ability to make insulin," Warshaw says.
In type 2 diabetes, your body no longer makes enough insulin to properly regulate blood glucose levels, or your body loses the ability to respond to insulin.
Prediabetes is typically symptom-free. That's why it's important to get your glucose tested on a regular basis.
Two simple, relatively inexpensive tests will tell you whether you have prediabetes: fasting blood glucose, which offers a "snapshot" of the glucose in your blood after going without food for about 8-9 hours, and A1C, which provides an average amount of glucose in the blood over the past three to four months.
Rubino says some people with prediabetes have a normal fasting glucose level. Knowing your A1C provides a more accurate picture.
Don't settle for being told your levels are "borderline high," Rubino recommends. Ask for the exact numbers for each test so that you're clear about your situation.
Southern chef Paula Deen's recent diagnosis has raised awareness about type 2 diabetes. In her case, however, the horse is out of the barn. Tackling prediabetes before it plays havoc with your body is easier than trying to manage the bigger health problems that are sure to come with type 2 diabetes.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Prediabetes, glucose levels, diet, Paula Deen
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