Over 37 million adults and children in the U.S. are living with diabetes. While that is an eye-opening statistic, here’s an even bigger shocker – 96 million Americans age 20 and older are considered prediabetic.
That’s one in three adults.
Of those, more than 80 percent don’t know they have it. Without lifestyle changes, nearly 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.
But there’s hope! Read below for great resources to live a healthier life and stop this alarming trend in its tracks.
What is Prediabetes?
A good place to start is with a basic understanding of what prediabetes is. Blood sugar, or glucose, is the sugar found in your blood. A doctor will perform a test called an A1C to determine if your blood sugar is within normal range, which is below 5.7 percent. If you are prediabetic, your A1C levels are between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent. Prediabetes puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, as well as other health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
If you are older than 45, are overweight or obese, have a family history of diabetes, lead a sedentary life, and/or have had diabetes while pregnant or have given birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds, you have a higher risk for developing prediabetes. Ethnicity also contributes to your risk. Those of African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander racial or ethnic descent have an increased chance.
Reversing the Trend
Now that you understand the basics and know what the risk factors are, what can you do to prevent or reverse prediabetes? Obviously, you can’t change your age or family history, but you can make some adjustments to your day-to-day life.
1. Join a diabetes prevention program.
First, find out if you’re considered at risk by taking the Do I Have Prediabetes Risk Test. Depending on your results, you may be able to join a diabetes prevention program, which focuses on lifestyle changes like proper nutrition and physical activity.
Learn more about these programs here.
2. Use the CDPHP Health Hub.
If you are technically lower on the prediabetes risk scale, you can still make sure you’re living a healthy life. With the CDPHP Health Hub, you can get help with risk factors you can control, like increasing your physical activity, eating better, coping with stress, and more.
The CDPHP Health Hub can be accessed from your smartphone or computer, giving you 24/7 access to powerful wellness resources right at your fingertips.
3. Visit with a Foodsmart registered dietitian.
A telenutrition visit* with a Foodsmart registered dietitian can help you:
4. Participate in a weight management program and get up to $100 back.
Ever think about trying WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Noom, Jenny Craig, or Nutrisystem? Now is your time! Use a weight management program or meet with a registered dietitian to help improve your healthy habits. CDPHP members on eligible plans can receive up to $100 back when they participate and pay for a qualified program.
Staying in the know is a major step toward preventing prediabetes. If you are at risk, take action now to keep yourself from being part of the statistic. Of course, talk with your health care provider about the steps you can take to live a healthier lifestyle. The American Diabetes Association also has helpful information about prediabetes, plus healthy recipes, support, and more.
*Cost-share may apply. See your member contract for details. All services may not be available with all plans. Please check your plan contract for details.
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I participated in the pre-diabetes class through St. Peter’s Hospital with Barbara Kipness and Katie Cameron. I highly recommend this class. I have lost almost 30 pounds and have gone from 212 to 180. My highest weight about 15 years ago was 253. My A1C is hovering back and forth between 5.5 and 5.8, but I feel much better. I confess that this is the weight I was when I was in the eighth grade! Barbara and Katie brought in many recipes and outside speakers who answered a number of crucial topics in ways that everyone could understand, especially about cooking and exercise. I appreciate their approach.
Hi, Wanda – Way to go! Thank you for sharing this information. We’re so glad you found this program helpful and that you’ve been better able to manage your diabetes.