According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of 3 American adults have prediabetes and 90% aren’t aware they have it. Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you are at a greater risk of having a stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
In 2018, a Community Health Needs Assessment for Luce County and the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan was conducted by the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department. The data collected shows that social determinants of health impact your risk for type 2 diabetes. Social determinants of health are the economic and social conditions in which people live and grow up in. They include factors such as socioeconomic status, education, household income, gender, and employment. The survey indicates that those with lower education and household income are at a higher risk. It also highlights significant gender disparity, with men being more likely than women to have prediabetes, and later type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes often has no clear symptoms and easily goes undetected until more serious health problems arise. A simple blood sugar test can determine if you have prediabetes. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about testing your blood sugar levels if you have any of the following risk factors:
Fortunately, you can greatly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by losing weight. Regular physical activity, just 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, combined with eating healthy can cut your risk in half. This includes being conscious of your eating, especially around the holidays. Instead of trying to cut out foods completely, eat in moderation. Discipline yourself to eat only one serving of your favorite foods, avoiding the all or nothing mindset. Keeping extra food out of sight can also prevent you from being tempted to overindulge, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Assess your risk of prediabetes with the prediabetes risk test. To take the test, visit http://bit.ly/prediabetesrisk.