Living with diabetes blog

Why you should be tested for pre-diabetes and diabetes

By Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E. July 2, 2015

One-third of adults with diabetes don't know they have it, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Even though the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the United States has risen to 6.5 percent of adults age 20 and older, the percentage of adults with undiagnosed pre-diabetes or diabetes hasn't changed.

The NIH says that you are at greater risk of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are age 45 or older
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are overweight
  • Have an inactive lifestyle
  • Are members of a high-risk ethnic population (e.g., African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian and Alaska native, Asian American, Pacific Islander)
  • Have high blood pressure: 140/90 mm/Hg or higher
  • Have HDL cholesterol less than 35 mg/dL or a triglyceride level 250 mg/dL or higher
  • Have had diabetes that developed during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome, a metabolic disorder that affects the female reproductive system
  • Have dark, thickened skin around neck or armpits
  • Have a history of disease of the blood vessels to the heart, brain, or legs

So, if you're age 45 or older, ask your healthcare provider about testing for diabetes or pre-diabetes. If you're younger than 45 and overweight, and have another risk factor, you should also ask about testing.

If you have pre-diabetes you can often prevent or delay diabetes if you lose a modest amount of weight by cutting calories or increasing physical activity.

If you're overweight and lose just 5-7 percent of your body weight, you can lower diabetes onset by 58 percent. That's why early detection is so important.

Have a great week,

July 02, 2015