BLOG NUTRITION, LIFESTYLE, FROM THE DOCTORS, HEALTH
October 2, 2012
Millions Have Pre-Diabetes, But Don't Know It
As many as 54 million adults (roughly a fourth of US adults) have pre-diabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see Nov. 7th "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report"). However, just 4% of those who responded to a large CDC survey said they had been told that they have pre-diabetes. The CDC defines the condition as an impaired fasting glucose of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL, an impaired glucose tolerance of 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL, or both. Obviously, there appears to be a different number of people who have pre-diabetes and the number who actually know it or realize the significance.
I look at this surprising gap as a great educational opportunity and a potential source of motivation to change lifestyles. After all, progression to type 2 Diabetes isn't inevitable and we know that proactive behavior change can be done to keep the disease from progressing. The CDC points out the following: without increasing physical activity and shedding extra pounds, the CDC estimates that the millions of people with pre-diabetes are 5-15 times more likely to develop type 2 Diabetes than are people with normal glucose values. The agency also estimates that unless steps are taken, approximately one out of every three people born in 2000 will develop diabetes in his/her lifetime.
The good news...there is a lot that can be done to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. For example, the federal Diabetes Prevention Program found that making lifestyle changes could dramatically reduce the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes. They estimate that it takes about 30 minutes of walking five days a week to reduce one's risk of going on to diabetes by about 60%.
So if you don't know your blood sugar level, or haven't had it checked in awhile, then make plans to get that checked by your doctor. Regardless of your number, regular exercise, weight control and a healthy diet can have a huge preventive impact.