This is a not a joke. Over one third of adults in North America are in a pre-diabetic state regardless of their weight and body mass index. If you are over 45 years of age you have a 50/50 chance to be pre-diabetic, but only a 7% chance of actually knowing it.
Diabetes follows pre-diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic. Everybody is afraid of becoming a diabetic, yet very few people are aware that full-blown type 2 diabetes is preceded by many years of a pre-diabetic state. Diabetes is not a disease that shows up on a Monday, while on the prior weekend you were in perfect health.
So, instead of panicking about diabetes we should strive to be more aware of pre-diabetic stage. Why? Research consistently shows that even very modest lifestyle changes while in pre-diabetic stages can delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by up to 58%. Without these minute lifestyle changes 30% of pre-diabetics become diabetics within five years.
Nine out of ten people do not know that they have pre-diabetes, although that information should be considered of vital importance. You can reverse pre-diabetes and become “healthy” again, but once a diabetic there is only a very small chance to become “normal”, even with major lifestyle changes.
Knowing whether you are in a pre-diabetic state is therefore crucial for making the necessary decisions to positively affect your health. Depending on your approach, you can be “healthy” or “disabled” in the future.
Pre-diabetes is rarely tested for
Most people rely on their doctors to tell them about their health condition. But, how can your medical doctor inform you about your pre-diabetes if s/he does not test for it?
Annual or routine check-ups do not test for pre-diabetes, they only establish whether you are a diabetic or not. The fasting glucose test is inadequate at best for screening pre-diabetes, as it grossly reflects the indiscretions of your last supper.
For example, if you are a pre-diabetic and drank alcohol the night before your fasting sugar may be normal or even low, so your doctor will not be able to ascertain form this test that you are pre-diabetic. There are many dietary “tricks” that lower your morning blood sugar and alcohol is well known for this effect.
Ask your doctor for HbA1C test
One easily administered test is “HbA1C”. HbA1C can be done at any time (fasting is not required). Currently HbA1C is mostly used for monitoring full-blown diabetes and seldom to screen for pre-diabetes.
HbA1C is better than fasting glucose, because it reflects blood glucose over several months and does not depend on your last meal.
Take this test regardless of whether your doctor thinks it’s necessary or not. If this test is not covered under your health insurance, just pay for it. After all, you pay for you home, car or phone bills without expecting to be subsidized, why not do the same for your own health. Isn`t health more important than your phone?
How to spot pre-diabetes by reading HbA1C test
Do not leave everything up to your doctor. Learn to interpret basic blood test yourself. This knowledge can turn out to be invaluable. Your doctor is busy and overlooks, mistakes, and misinterpretations happen all the time.
The pre-diabetic reference for HbA1C is well established, but a lot of doctors, for whatever reason, do not consider look at it seriously. So, for your own sake, you need to be in charge of your own health.
Here is what you need to know: the pre-diabetes HbA1C range is between 0.057 – 0.064. Anything below does not qualify for a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, anything above is considered diabetes.
If your HbA1C number is in the pre-diabetic range all you need to do is to take preventative steps against diabetes. Eat real food, not junk, move more, lose weight, go outdoors, and learn how to cope with stress better. Too many needlessly become diabetics, even though simple lifestyle changes may suffice. Don’t be a statistic.