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Published on September 06, 2022

Healthy Tips Video: Risk Factors for Prediabetes

Hello my name is Shelby Shelby. I'm a registered dietitian and diabetes educator at the Owensboro Health Healthpark. Today, I want to talk to you about a serious health condition called prediabetes. Prediabetes occurs when your blood glucose levels are slightly above what's recommended but not to the level where you would be diagnosed with diabetes.

Many Do Not Realize They Have It

This is a common problem. In fact, one in three American adults have prediabetes. There aren't many symptoms or signs to prediabetes. So unfortunately, many people who have prediabetes don't realize it and may go a long time without seeking treatment. Unfortunately, prediabetes predisposes us to Type 2 diabetes and even heart disease and stroke. In fact, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years of their diagnosis if not treated or if they don't make lifestyle changes.

Ask Your Doctor

Your doctor will diagnose you with diabetes. And usually, they'll use a blood glucose test, like a fasting blood glucose or an A1C. The prediabetes range for a fasting blood glucose is 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter. And for A1C is 5.7% to 6.4%.

Risk Factors

The following risk factors can increase your risk of prediabetes.

  • Being overweight 
  • Being over 45 years of age
  • Having a relative like a brother, sister, or parent with Type 2 diabetes
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle, where you may be active less than three days a week
  • Having a history of gestational diabetes in pregnancy
  • Giving birth to a baby that was greater than nine pounds at birth
  • Having a history of polycystic ovary syndrome
  • If you are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native person. Some Pacific Islanders and Asian American people are also at higher risk.

Treatment Options

There are treatment options for prediabetes if you're diagnosed. Be sure to speak with your doctor about what treatment is best for you. Oftentimes, treatment includes lifestyle changes, like reducing your weight, if needed, by about 5% to 7% of your body weight. That would be 10 to 14 pounds for a person weighing 200 pounds.

A healthy diet can help. Also, increasing your activity level to at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and smoking cessation also help reducing your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes from prediabetes.

We're Here to Help

If you're looking for resources to help you with prediabetes or to decrease your risk for Type 2 diabetes, look to the Owensboro Health Healthpark. We have several programs, such as our diabetes prevention program, meeting with a dietitian or diabetes educator, lifestyle medicine, and our exercise is medicine program that can help you. For more information, visit our website or call us at 270-688-4804.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 200 providers at more than 20 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a surgical weight loss center and program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have 16,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 24,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 200 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 70,000 Emergency Department visits, more than a million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.