According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 57 million Americans have pre-diabetes, and most of them are unaware of their serious condition. That’s because there are few outward symptoms of pre-diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, chances are you will get full-blown diabetes in four to six years if you do nothing about it.

What is pre-diabetes?

If your blood sugar (glucose) level is higher than normal — but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic — you are considered “pre-diabetic.” Your body is not efficiently processing glucose.

Your pre-diabetic condition has not progressed to full-blown diabetes, but is still serious. Recent research has shown that “some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during pre-diabetes,” according to the ADA.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., and a contributor to other deaths from heart disease and stroke. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control points to obesity and the unhealthy lifestyles of many Americans as a major contributing factor for diabetes.

How do you determine for sure whether you are pre-diabetic or diabetic

You have to have your blood sugar tested. One common test is the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG). If your glucose level is:–

100 mg/deciliter (dl) or less — your glucose level is normal
over 100 but less that 126 — you are pre-diabetic
126 and over — you are diabetic

To nail it down for sure, take the A1C test. The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin – a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen – is coated with sugar (glycated).

The A1C test should be the primary test used to diagnose pre-diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes according to an international committee of experts from the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation.

What is your risk for pre-diabetes and diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association has revised its diabetes/pre-diabetes risk test with a simple flowchart. It help you assess whether you are:–

at risk for pre-diabetes,
a high risk for type 2 diabetes, or
a low risk for pre-diabetes/diabetes

The test is simplified of course, but it highlights the following major risk factors:–

Age — the older you are, the higher your risk for diabetes/pre-diabetes
Weight — the more overweight you are, the higher your risk
genetics — if your mother, father, brother or sister has/had diabetes, you have a higher risk
race — if you are non-Caucasian, you have a higher risk
high blood pressure — if you have or had hypertension, you have a higher risk
diabetes during pregnancy — if you had diabetes during pregnancy, you have a higher risk

What should you do if your risk test or glucose test indicates pre-diabetes or diabetes

First of all, see your doctor at once.

Second, if you are overweight, pick a good weight loss plan and start immediately to shed excess fat. If you have tried in the past to lose weight, but couldn’t, examine the reasons why you couldn’t and make a renewed effort to overcome your roadblocks to losing weight.

Third, eat like a diabetic — Eat healthy and nutritious foods. Cut your sugar intake. Pay attention to what you eat.

Fourth, get active. Take walks. Add muscle strengthening exercises.

Do you want to lose weight? Have you tried diets in the past that failed you? Are you discouraged because you haven’t found success in your weight loss journey? Know that you CAN lose weight. You just need some help.

Welcome to Weight Loss Solutions [] — your guide to weight loss success! Here you will find dieting tips, helpful articles such as What Do Carbohydrates Do [], more info on choosing the right macronutrient ratio, reviews of weight loss products, and much more.

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