November is American Diabetes Month. Eighty-four million Americans have prediabetes, a condition that means someone has a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Finding out if you have prediabetes is the first step to preventing the progression to diabetes.
Of the 1 in 3 American adults who have prediabetes, only 10 percent of them know they have it. Prediabetes doesn’t usually show symptoms, so it’s best to talk to your primary care physician (PCP) to find out for sure. A simple blood test can confirm if you have prediabetes.
The good news is that if you have prediabetes, the Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. I encourage those who are unsure of their status, are older than 45, have a family history of diabetes, have physical activity less than three times a week, have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds, have high blood pressure or are overweight to talk to their PCP to see if additional testing is needed.
Sharp HealthCare offers a diabetes education program in locations across San Diego County to help those with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes with managing their care. Sharp Health Plan also offers a diabetes and hypertension preventive care checklist to help you manage the condition before it becomes serious.