Prediabetes: This is how it may inspire a healthier future.

It’s not good news — but it is an opportunity for action.

Not all of life’s rough times offer us an out — a chance to make things better before they get worse.

But when it comes to a dangerous disease — type 2 diabetes — some people get that opportunity. That’s because it may come with a warning: prediabetes.

People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal —but not yet at the level of diabetes. It’s a sign that your health’s at serious risk — and a chance to do something about it.

Alarming facts to know.*

  • Affects an estimated 84 million Americans — the majority of whom don’t know it.
  • Increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Puts people at high risk of diabetes — the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S.

What you can do now.

Many people have prediabetes — or are headed that way — and don’t know it. For one thing, it has no symptoms. But knowledge is power. So protect your health with these steps:

  1. Get real about your risk.

    This Type 2 Diabetes Risk TestOpens a new window — from the American Diabetes Association — can help. You can learn more about the factors that contribute to type 2 diabetes — and know which affect you.

  2. Be screened.

    Ask your doctor if you should be tested. This may involve having blood drawn after an overnight fast.

  3. Take positive steps forward. Studies have shown that people with prediabetes who lose weight and increase their physical activity can prevent, or at least delay, type 2 diabetes. Talk with your doctor about your health habits. Ask what changes would help you.

What to do next

Take small steps to a healthier tomorrow. Here are 20 everyday ways to help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

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*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention