As you age, your risk of type 2 diabetes increases. Nearly a quarter of older adults in the United States have type 2 diabetes, while over half have prediabetes. This refers to a phase that occurs just before the start of diabetes, diagnosed with a lab test known as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) or through an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Alternatively, you could be tested by measuring glycohemoglobin (A1c) levels in your blood.
Knowing if you have prediabetes, no matter your age is extremely important as it helps you understand your personal risk for developing type 2 diabetes. However, there are no apparent symptoms, going undetected a large majority of the time. Some risk factors, such as being overweight and having a family with diabetes can increase your likelihood of developing it.
When you know you are at high risk, you can start making healthy lifestyle changes that will mitigate its development. Talk to your primary care services provider for a specified plan – not everyone will need medication, but if you do, your doctor can help you know what to expect.
Healthy lifestyle changes may prove to be one of the most beneficial ways to practice preventative care. Engaging in physical activity and eating a balanced diet (or a diet set forth by your doctor) can help your body use glucose and insulin more efficiently. A lack of exercise almost always causes your muscle cell’s sensitivity to insulin to decrease and inhibit your body from controlling sugar levels.
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