Diabetes affects almost one out of every 10 Americans. In 2012, more than 29 million Americans had diabetes. Of that approximate 29 million, only 21 million were diagnosed, with the remaining left undiagnosed. Approximately $245 billion is spent on diagnosing diabetes every year.
Although these numbers may be shocking to you, even more Americans are effected by prediabetes, a condition that, in 2012, approximately 86 million Americans were affected by. The way most people get their prediabetes diagnosed is through a blood test, however there is an alternative way to diagnose prediabetes that I will reveal to you later on. First, lets discuss what prediabetes actually is.
What Is Prediabetes?
When someone is diagnosed with prediabetes it means that they have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not yet at a diabetic level. The name “prediabetes” comes from the fact that many people who have prediabetes are on their way to becoming diabetic and, although not everyone with prediabetes develops type 2 diabetes, many prediabetics will.
Although having prediabetes does not necessarily make you diabetic, long-term prediabetes has been associated with many of the same health issues that diabetics face, including heart disease and nerve damage. However, prediabetes symptoms and even type 2 diabetes symptoms are sometimes not present, so it is important to use other indicative markers to tell if you are at risk (but we will talk more about that later).
Although I previously mentioned that symptoms for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes may not occur, it is still important to keep and eye out for them, because if they do this can signal that you are becoming increasingly diabetic. Symptoms of diabetes include:
- Increased urination
- Increased thirst
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Increased hunger
- Sores that do not heal
How to Diagnose Prediabetes
As I mentioned before, the way most people get diagnosed for diabetes is through a blood test that examines your blood glucose levels. If you levels are above a certain point (100 milligrams per deciliter) you are diagnosed as prediabetic. If you have even higher blood glucose levels (126 milligrams or above per deciliter) you are diagnosed as diabetic.
However, there is an alternative way to diagnose prediabetes. Here is how to diagnose prediabetes in less then a minute using just your fingers and what you know about your body.
- Hold up 1 finger if you are a man, none of you are a woman.
- Hold up 3 fingers if you are over the age of sixty, 2 fingers if you are over fifty, and 1 finger if you are over forty, none if you are under forty.
- Hold up 1 finger if you believe you do not get enough physical activity, none if you believe you are physically active enough.
- Hold up 1 finger if anybody in your family has diabetes, none if your family does not have a history of diabetes.
- Hold up 1 finger if you have high blood pressure, none if you have a normal blood pressure.
- Hold up 3 fingers if you are severely overweight (obese), 2 fingers if you are overweight, 1 finger if you are slightly overweight and no fingers if you are at a healthy body weight.
If you find that, by the end of doing this self-diagnosis, that you are holding up five fingers or more, then there is a good chance that you have prediabetes. This type of diagnosing makes use of the factors that most researchers believe are associated with an increased risk in diabetes. Even though it is not 100% accurate, most experts believe that it is a good way of assessing your diabetes risk.
If you found that according to the test you are prediabetic, you should first get a blood test to determine just how much you are at risk for developing diabetes. If it turns out you are at significant risk, try to make some lifestyle changes that will help lower your blood sugar and reduce your risk of developing full-on diabetes.
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