The Fidelis Care Blog

Understanding Prediabetes
11/18/2022 • Posted by Fidelis Care in Diabetes, Health and Wellness

African American man and woman running in the parkPrediabetes affects about 88 million adults in the United States. About 84% of people living with prediabetes do not know they have it. And prediabetes can turn into type 2 diabetes, a more serious condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. 

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes happens when a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes have trouble making insulin or effectively using the insulin their body makes. Glucose (blood sugar) then starts to build up in the blood. It is important to know if you have prediabetes, so you can act to prevent type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of prediabetes?

Many people do not have symptoms, according to the American Diabetes Association. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Urinating often
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling hungry, even though you have eaten
  • Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands and/or feet
  • Extreme tiredness

Who is at risk of developing prediabetes?

People are at risk for prediabetes if they:

  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 years of age or older
  • Have a parent or a sibling with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 days a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds

What can people with prediabetes do to avoid type 2 diabetes?

Having a healthy lifestyle is the most important thing you can do. Eat healthy foods, eat smaller portions, and exercise more. Losing a small amount of weight can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. 

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