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By the Numbers: Prediabetes

Facts and stats on one of the country's top health conditions.
By
WebMD Magazine - Feature

Total health care costs for diabetes in the U.S.: $218 billion.

Estimated number of people in the U.S. who have prediabetes: 79 million.

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Total health care costs to cover prediabetes: $25 billion.

Reduced risk of developing diabetes over three years if you follow a healthy food and exercise program: 58%.

Length of time diabetes diagnosis may be delayed through lifestyle or medication intervention: up to 10 years.

Reduced risk of developing diabetes over three years if you take medication to prevent prediabetes: 31%.

Amount of exercise that could reduce your risk of diabetes if you have prediabetes: 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Your increased risk of heart attack or stroke if you have prediabetes: 50%.

Amount of excess weight loss that could prevent diabetes if you have prediabetes: 7% of your body mass, or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds.

Number of tests available to screen for prediabetes: Three.

Age you should ask your doctor about diabetes screening if your weight is normal and you have no risk factors: 45.

Expert Tip:

"I've found that patients lose weight more reliably once I insist they track their daily food intake. A food record forces you to see what and how much you're eating. Writing down what you eat and adding up the numbers makes you accountable.

Correlating those numbers with your weight or blood sugar levels also helps you see how different foods affect your body. Plus, counting something -- such as calories -- lets you 'budget' for the rest of the day to reach your goal." -- Michael Dansinger, MD, WebMD diabetes expert.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD the Magazine."

Reviewed on July 15, 2012

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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