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Prediabetes: Are you the one in three?

Being diagnosed with prediabetes means your body is not metabolizing glucose (blood sugar) as effectively as it should. Today, one in three Americans over age 20 has prediabetes. But most of them don't know they have it—and in this case, what you don't know can hurt you.

Many people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. By the time a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the cells that control glucose metabolism have already lost 50 percent of their function. This damage occurs over a period of about 10 years before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed. That's why it's important to know your risks and take action to reduce them.

The good news? Even a small amount of weight loss combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet can greatly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

This infographic summarizes some important facts about this common condition.

prediabetes infographic

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A primer on prediabetes

1 out of 3 Americans over age 20 has prediabetes. Most don’t know they have it.

Risk factors

  • Being overweight
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Gestational diabetes (high blood sugar during pregnancy)
  • Family history


Often there are no obvious symptoms.
A blood test is needed to diagnose prediabetes.

What’s the danger?
If you have prediabetes, cells that help your body process glucose can be damaged years before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.

Reduce your risk

  • Lose weight. Even 10 to 15 pounds can make a big difference.
  • Exercise. Aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
  • Eat healthy. Eat more real food, less junk food.


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Get the facts on insulin resistance

While medical experts don’t know all the reasons for insulin resistance (also known as metabolic syndrome and prediabetes), it is more common if you are overweight and aren’t physically active. You also may be insulin resistant if you have high blood sugar levels, high triglycerides, high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

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