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Prediabetes: What you need to know

Don't wait 'til you have diabetes, y'all. Find out your blood sugar levels.

You know your cholesterol levels, so why not your blood glucose levels too?

Type 2 diabetes was recently thrust into the public eye when Paula Deen announced she has been living with the disease for 3 years. However, something we hear about far less frequently is prediabetes.

The CDC estimates that some 79 million Americans over the age of 20 have prediabetes, which is defined as consistently elevated blood glucose levels (fasting blood glucose of 100 – 125 mg/dL or A1C of 5.7% – 6.4%) that are not quite high enough to qualify for a diagnosis of diabetes. That may not sound like such a big deal, but it can significantly up your risk of cardiovascular disease and other long-term damage in addition to  paving the way to full-blown diabetes.

The good news is that if you find out your numbers put you in the prediabetic range (many doctors say “borderline high”—ask for specific numbers), you can do something about it. Getting blood glucose levels under control is key, and many people are able to do that through a healthier diet and exercise.  Your doctor may also prescribe a drug such as Metformin to help lower blood glucose levels.

Don’t wait until you’re diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Speak with your care provider at your next appointment about your blood sugar levels and how to keep or get it into a healthy range.

You can read more about diabetes and prediabetes here.

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