Approximately 23 million Americans suffer from the disabling condition of diabetes and many more have a high risk.
According to diabetes researcher Dr. Ronald Goldberg, pre-diabetes is a term that was used for aiding in identifying those who have a very high risk of developing diabetes. He says that it does not mean that those people will develop diabetes; rather it just means that they have a much higher risk of developing diabetes than the general population. Dr. Goldberg said that estimates show that approximately 57 million (20 percent of the population) people have pre-diabetes.
Dr. Greenberg says that the American Diabetes Association says that from at least the age of 45, all adults should have a fasting blood sugar test (considered to be the best screening tool), and possibly repeat that once every three years.
However, he says, if you have risk factors, you should be screened sooner and more frequently.
There is a simple on-line quiz at the American Diabetes Association’s Web site for the purpose of helping determine your risk. The quiz asks questions about your age, ethnic background (minorities have an increased risk), and weight.
According to Dr. Goldberg, weight is “a powerful predictor,” as if you have a BMI of more than 30 (obese), you have another risk factor.
The rise of people who are overweight and obese parallels the drastic increase in the rate of new cases of diabetes, which has doubled in the last 10 years.
Doctors are making efforts to reach people before type 2 diabetes sets in so that lifestyle changes can help in keeping the disease under control.