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BY: Susan Crandell
These days, most people know that a diabetes diagnosis is serious, with all kinds of potentially deadly complications. Yet if they learn they have prediabetes -- when blood sugar levels are too high but not quite high enough to be diabetic -- they often think, “Well, I’ll do something about that … eventually.”
That’s a big mistake, experts say. Of the 2 million Australians and half a million New Zealanders who have prediabetes (blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dL), many will go on to develop diabetes within 10 years.
But prediabetes also poses significant health risks right now, almost doubling your risk of cardiovascular disease, reports Diabetes Australia. What’s more, as you move toward a true diabetes diagnosis, the odds of developing other health issues -- from vision problems to dental disasters -- increase.
Prediabetes: Are You at Risk?
You’re considered to be at higher risk for prediabetes if you’re older than 45, are overweight or obese, have a family history of Type 2 diabetes, or have high blood pressure or cholesterol. Symptoms may include a frequent desire to urinate, blurred vision, or a feeling of fatigue. But they may come on so gradually that you may not even notice. Often, there are no symptoms at all.
Talk to your doctor about getting tested. A prediabetes diagnosis is an early warning sign, and many people can prevent the development of diabetes and even reverse the condition entirely.Prevent Diabetes
Whether you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or not, there are plenty of things you can do to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes in the future:
Have a question for our experts? Ask it @OralCareHealth (Australia & New Zealand)
Susan Crandell writes about health for such magazines as Prevention. She is the author of Thinking About Tomorrow: Reinventing Yourself at Midlife, and her articles frequently appear in Oral Care and Health Daily (Australia & New Zealand).
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