ICD-10 diagnosis code
According to the Centers for Disease Control, among Americans, age 20 years and older only 10% are aware of having prediabetes.
It is sad news, given that almost 73 million Americans with prediabetes are out there, unaware about their internal ticking bomb.
In other words, only around 7 million people are aware of having prediabetes and the other 66 million people don’t.
Many of these people consider themselves to be healthy and don’t consider it necessary to see a doctor.
What does prediabetes mean?
Prediabetes is simply the stage before being diagnosed with diabetes. In this phase, the blood sugar levels are higher but not high enough to reach the diabetic level.
Individuals with fasting sugar levels (not eating for at least 8 hours) of more than 99 mg/dl or hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C)—average sugar for the past 2-3 months—between 5.7 and 6.4% are considered as having prediabetes.
Why ignoring prediabetes is foolish
If you ignore this condition you will be at higher risk of getting diabetes. Consequently, being diagnosed with diabetes puts you at a higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke, nerve pain, kidney failure, dialysis, and many more conditions.
Furthermore, early diagnosis of prediabetes and timely intervention including lifestyle changes can make a difference and help with reversing prediabetes.
Except for a few incidents, diabetes doesn’t develop in one night. You don’t wake up in the morning and notice that you have a blood sugar level of 150 or 200 mg/dl. It is a process that develops over several years.
We often oversimplify things. We are inclined to believe that most things happen suddenly. However, almost nothing— except for some accidents—happens without warning.
Who is at risk?
I would say, everybody.
Ironically, many patients at high risk of having prediabetes don’t consider themselves to be at risk. Since prediabetes doesn’t hurt, they will not seek help until it’s too late.
The following individuals are at higher risk of prediabetes and consequently diabetes who have the following conditions.
- Obese or overweight
- Family history of diabetes or prediabetes
- Older than age 45
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Women who had elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy
- Several ethnicities (Blacks, Hispanics, Asian, Alaska natives, American Indian)
- Active smokers
What should you do now?
Know your fasting blood sugar level or HbA1C results. If you don’t have recent blood tests then ask your doctor about it.
What if you don’t have a doctor?
If you don’t have a doctor, you should look for one. Don’t wait until the doctors come to you (it could too late).
Do you have prediabetes?
If your blood sugar level is high then you should work on lowering it now.
Learn, learn, and learn more. Find out about the ways of improving this condition, and I will try to help you where I can.
I hope that this information will help you to appreciate the importance of early diagnosis and management of prediabetes.
Please share this article on social media.