You can reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Learn how you can take small steps to change your diet, increase your level of physical activity, and maintain a healthy weight. With these positive steps, you can stay healthier longer and reduce your risk of diabetes.
Who is at Greater Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
- People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
- People over age 45
- People with a family history of diabetes
- People who are overweight
- People who do not exercise regularly
- People with low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, high blood pressure
- Certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives)
- Women who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing 9 pounds or more at birth
Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “prediabetes” — blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during prediabetes. The good news is there are things you can do to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.
How to Tell if You Have Diabetes or Prediabetes
While diabetes and prediabetes occur in people of all ages and races, some groups have a higher risk for developing the disease than others. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population. This means they are also at increased risk for developing prediabetes.
There are three different tests your doctor can use to determine whether you have prediabetes:
- The A1C test
- The fasting plasma glucose test (FPG)
- or the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
The blood glucose levels measured after these tests determine whether you have a normal metabolism, or whether you have prediabetes or diabetes.
If your blood glucose level is abnormal following the FPG, you have impaired fasting glucose (IFG); if your blood glucose level is abnormal following the OGTT, you have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Both are also known as prediabetes.