By Dr. Mark Leenay
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 84 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated, can lead to Type 2 diabetes within five years.
Prediabetes means your blood sugar level is higher than normal. Although prediabetes is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, the long-term damage — especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys — may already be starting.
So, how do you know if you should be concerned about having prediabetes? Watch this video and take this quick quiz to know if you’re at risk:
- Hold up one finger if you’re a man and no fingers if you’re a woman.
- One more finger if you’re over 40, two if you’re over 51 or three if you’re over 62.
- Do you live a sedentary lifestyle? Be honest! Raise one more finger if you’re not very active.
- Raise one finger if anyone in your family has diabetes.
- Now, raise a finger if you have high blood pressure.
- Finally, choose the body type that looks most like you and hold up that many fingers.
If you’re holding up five fingers or more, there is a good chance you have prediabetes.
There’s good news, however. Progression from prediabetes to Type 2 diabetes isn’t inevitable. Eating healthy foods, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine and maintaining a healthy weight can help bring your blood sugar level back to normal.
Schedule time today to meet with your doctor to discuss your risk for prediabetes…It could truly be a lifesaver!
Dr. Mark Leenay is WellCare’s executive vice president and chief medical officer