Everyone should consider themselves prediabetic

Knowing is half the battle

I know I talk about diabetes in this space quite a bit. Not only because it’s an epidemic… but because there are just so many natural ways to combat this deadly disease.

It’s also my way of letting you know that diabetes is a silent killer that you have to be looking out for at all times. And according to a recent report from the CDC, this message really needs to get out more.

In this report, researchers defined prediabetes as fasting plasma glucose levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) results ranging from 5.7 to 6.4. (These are tests that I urge all of my readers to get. If your doctor hasn’t performed them, it’s time to find a new one.)

From 2005 to 2006, a mere 7 percent of American adults knew that they were prediabetic.

Awareness rose slightly in later years, to about 5.1 percent among young people, 10 percent among the middle-aged, and almost 12 percent among people over 65. (Not surprising statistics, given that younger people typically don’t pay all that much attention to their health.)

People with less education are less aware of their diabetes status. And normal weight people are also less aware than their overweight or obese counterparts.

As you might expect, awareness is also higher among people with a strong family history of diabetes. As well as among those on blood pressure and cholesterol medications, those with health insurance coverage, and those who have a steady source of healthcare (like a clinic or doctor’s office).

Granted, these findings really aren’t that different than what you would normally expect in terms of awareness. Far too many people are clueless about their health status in general. But that’s a story for another day.

The real problem here is the low percentage across the board of people who are aware of their blood sugar issues. Because at the end of the day, diabetes affects almost every organ. And it has implications for almost every major disease.

So it’s no surprise that cases of diabetes are skyrocketing in the United States. The bigger tragedy being that this deadly trend could be stopped in its tracks. It just takes a simple recipe of smart diet, regular exercise, and modest weight loss.

These are all easy things to do. And yet, it remains difficult to get the masses behind such a program.

I think at this point in American history, everyone should consider themselves prediabetic until proven otherwise. And they should take the necessary steps to prevent diabetes from ruining their lives.

Step one: Start eating the Hamptons way.

“Awareness of prediabetes–United States, 2005-2010.” MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Mar 22;62(11):209-12.