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It’s easier to get where you want to go when you have directions. Staying on the right track for good health includes eating right, exercising and not smoking. But you might unknowingly be going in the wrong direction if you have pre-diabetes. That’s because symptoms of this condition may develop so gradually, if at all, that most people are not aware they have it.

It’s important to know if you have pre-diabetes because it is often the precursor to type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, pre-diabetes can be diagnosed using either the fasting plasma glucose test or oral glucose tolerance test, and the progression to diabetes can be delayed or reversed through weight loss, exercise and medication. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing for people who are over the age of 45 or overweight, have high blood pressure or a first-degree relative with diabetes, had gestational diabetes or delivered a baby weighing more than nine pounds, or are African American, Latino, Asian, Native American or Pacific Islander. If diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years. 

Studies have shown that a modest weight loss of seven percent of total body weight coupled with 30-minute daily moderate exercise five days a week can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. Blood glucose levels could even return to normal in some cases. A medication called metformin (Glucophage) also may be effective in delaying the onset of diabetes, but not to the extent of diet and exercise. 

Pre-diabetes is a serious medical condition that requires treatment because studies have shown it may cause some long-term damage to the heart and circulatory system. To learn more about pre-diabetes, take the free, online pre-diabetes risk assessment available on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/PrediabetesQuiz

Photo courtesy: iStock/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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