Be 'Pre' Pared: Prediabetes Red Flags

January 4, 2012 9:36:40 AM PST
The future's not looking very bright for millions of Americans. A new study projects in the next eight years 77 percent of men and 53 percent of women will have diabetes or prediabetes. We have some important warning signs that could help you change the future.

It's a sound all too familiar to chef Tom Haynes.

"My diabetes was out of control. I had to stab myself 13 times a day with insulin," Tom Haynes told Ivanhoe.

Knowing the signs of prediabetes can help prevent you from having to prick yourself. Prediabetes is when your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Here are some red flags you can watch out for years before type two takes hold.

Number one is feeling beat when you eat! If you're often drowsy after dining it could mean you're diet's too high in simple carbs like sugar and sweet drinks so eat more complex carbs like whole wheat, veggies and fruit. The body works harder to break them down which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Next, if you're overweight and cutting calories isn't cutting the pounds beware! It could be a sign your body's becoming insulin resistant. Instead of trying to lose a lot of weight at once try a little at a time.

Studies show losing five to ten percent of body weight and regular exercise prevent or delay diabetes by 60 percent. Finally, are you an apple or a pear? Being pear shaped is not a big pre-diabetes risk factor. But if you look more like an apple you could have it. Men with waistlines of 40 inches or more could be in trouble. Women with waistlines of 35 inches or more are also in the danger zone.

There are two tests doctors can use to detect prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association states if you're overweight and 45 or older, you should be tested for prediabetes during your next routine check-up. If you're under 45 and overweight doctors may recommend the tests if you have other diabetes risk factors like high blood pressure or family history.


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