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Prediabetes - What Increases Your Risk

Risk factors

Things that can increase your chances of prediabetes are called risk factors. Some risk factors you can control, and others you can't.

The risk factors for prediabetes are similar to those for type 2 diabetes. Most people who get type 2 diabetes had prediabetes first. Risk factors include:

  • Being overweight.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Family history. If you have a parent, brother, or sister who has type 2 diabetes, you have a greater chance of getting the disease.
  • Age. The risk for getting prediabetes and type 2 diabetes increases with age. But the number of children with type 2 diabetes is increasing. Usually, children who get type 2 diabetes have a family history of the disease, are overweight, and aren't physically active.
  • Race and ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk than whites for type 2 diabetes.
  • History ofgestational diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes or who have had a baby that weighed more than 9 lb (4 kg) at birth are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Low birth weight. People who weighed less than 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) at birth are more likely to get type 2 diabetes later in life.

Other health problems that put you at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes include:

predia_linda.jpg

One Woman's Story:

Linda, 39

With a family history of type 2 diabetes, Linda says she should have watched her weight more carefully. She wasn't too surprised by her prediabetes diagnosis. But she got motivated right away to do what she could about it.

"I watched my mom inject herself with insulin every day. Sometimes she needed my help. She had the hardest time keeping her blood sugar down and figuring out what to eat. I don't want to go down that road if I can help it."—Linda

Read more about Linda.

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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.

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    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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