As of 2018, 10.5% of the U.S. population (34.2 million people) are diabetic. Of that amount, 7.3 million are undiagnosed. This condition can lead to many different problems, including heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, and eye damage.
However, 88 million people over 18 are prediabetic as of 2015. This means you have a higher blood sugar level than normal, but not enough to be considered diabetic. This does make it easier for you to get diabetes, but fortunately, it is manageable and can be treated.
If you live in Beverly Hills, California, and think you might be prediabetic, help is available. Dr. Shawn Veiseh offers quality comprehensive care to patients for many conditions including prediabetes and diabetes.
If you get a blood test and your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, chances are you’re prediabetic. This would mean that your body isn’t able to produce enough insulin (which comes from your pancreas) to stop the overproduction of blood sugar, which in proper doses the body uses for energy. Without stable amounts of insulin to control your blood sugar levels, it rises and leads to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
The problem with this condition is that you may not even know you have it. A possible symptom is darkened skin in certain body parts (neck, armpits, elbows, knuckles, and knees). It may not start presenting with symptoms until it becomes type 2 diabetes. So getting a blood test to check is vital to understanding your risks.
Just like diabetes a bad diet (too much red meat, processed meat, and sugars in your food and drinks), being overweight, age (chances increase 45 and older), physical inactivity, diabetic family history, and gestational diabetes all increase the risk of getting prediabetes. Obstructive sleep apnea can also increase insulin resistance which raises the risk along with smoking, hypertension, and bad cholesterol.
Signs of moving from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, excess hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision.
Fortunately getting type 2 diabetes if you’re prediabetic is not automatic, and is very preventable. Just like managing diabetes, changes in diet (an increase of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains), and regular exercise (150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or at least half an hour per day) can manage weight, control your blood sugar and blood pressure. Quitting smoking is also an effective way to lower blood sugar and help get your insulin levels back to normal.
Yes, being prediabetic is dangerous but treatable. If you think you’re prediabetic, make an appointment with Dr. Veiseh today to get better.