On March 22nd, the American Diabetes Association is recognizing “Diabetes Alert Day” as the time to find out if you are the 1 in 3 American Adults who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. There is a simple test that assesses your risk for Type 2 diabetes; family history, weight, age, activity, etc.

Since 2007, the statistics for pre-diabetes and diabetes have increased. The number of Americans with diabetes has grown from 24 million (children and adults) to 26 million. The number of Americans with pre-diabetes over the age of 20 has risen in three years from 57 million to 79 million. For these latest statistics, a newer method of diagnosing pre-diabetes has been added. Pre-diabetes is diagnosed by looking at either fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dL or an HbA1c (3 month blood glucose average) of 5.7% to 6.4%. These 2007 and 2011 statistics were determined by the National Diabetes Fact Sheet.

Diabetes is a progressive disease. Pre-diabetes (one number apart from diabetes) will eventually become diabetes if you wait too long to take care of your body. Please take a look at some of the numbers of non-diabetes, pre-diabetes and then diabetes:

Fasting glucose99 and below100-125 mg/dL126 and above
HbA1c (average)5.7%5.7-6.4%6.5%

As you can see, pre-diabetes “numbers” are so close to diabetes “numbers”. Take them both seriously and don’t wait – act now!

The answer is prevention. There are some controllable risk factors and some uncontrollable. Family history and age you obviously cannot control. However, increasing activity, eating well and keeping your weight near ideal, and controlling your blood pressure are the areas you can take control of. Incorporating a new and healthier mind-set may gradually help you reach a point where you are making different choices for yourself and your body without much effort. Bathing and brushing our teeth and hair are just some examples of ways we take care of ourselves without thinking or making excuses not to do them. Adding an activity to your day should be as routine as brushing your hair. Once you begin making healthier food choices and exercising you will feel more energized and accomplished. Use these feelings to continue on this path to preventing pre-diabetes and ultimately, diabetes.

NOTE: Consult your doctor first to make sure my recommendations fit your special health needs.