Early Detection of Diabetes Can Lower Your Risk
Every November we observe National Diabetes Prevention month to help educate people about how to prevent this deadly disease. Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “pre-diabetes, which means blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Doctors sometimes refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used when it was detected. This condition puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, you may have it and not know it.
Some people with prediabetes may have some of the symptoms of diabetes or even problems from diabetes already. You usually find out that you have prediabetes when being tested for diabetes by your doctor.
If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years. You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.
Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week
The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed.
Common symptoms of diabetes:
- 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)
Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. To learn more about how to prevent diabetes check out our online Diabetes Prevention Program. It is a free online program to help you reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.