The Norman Transcript

Features

February 11, 2014

How to tell if you have prediabetes

NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior: My 62-year-old sister was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was surprised when the doctor told her that she’s probably had it or prediabetes for many years. My question is what determines prediabetes and how can you know if you have it?

— Surprised Senior

Dear Surprised,

Underlying today’s growing epidemic of type 2 diabetes is a much larger epidemic called prediabetes, which is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that as many as 79 million Americans today have prediabetes. Left untreated, it almost always turns into type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

And, if you have prediabetes, the long-term damage it can cause — especially to your heart and circulatory system — may already be starting.

But the good news is that prediabetes doesn’t mean that you’re destined for full-blown diabetes.

Prediabetes can actually be reversed, and diabetes prevented, by making some simple lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising, eating a healthy diet and cutting back on carbohydrates. Or, if you need more help, oral medications also may be an option.

Get checked? Because prediabetes typically causes no outward symptoms, most people that have it don’t realize it. The only way to know for sure is to get a blood test.

Everyone age 45 years or older should consider getting tested for prediabetes, especially if you are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) above 25. See cdc.gov/bmi to calculate your BMI.

If you are younger than 45 but are overweight, or have high blood pressure, a family history of diabetes or belong to an ethnic group (Latino, Asian, African or Native American) at high risk for diabetes, you too should get checked.

To help you determine your risk, the American Diabetes Association has a online quiz at diabetes.org/

are-you-at-risk.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Norman resident honored as volunteer of the week

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who is making a difference in the lives of veterans and surviving spouses in the area. This week’s volunteer has been making the trip each week to Goldsby for the last five years. I’m proud to say that ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Air travel tips for seniors with special needs

    Dear Savvy Senior, I would like to fly my elderly parents across the country next month for my daughter’s wedding but have some concerns about the flight. My mom has trouble walking long distances and my dad has COPD and needs an oxygen ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Couple with autistic children lead Thorn Bush Autism group

    For Leah and Christian Eisenbeis raising two children with Autism is not only a challenge but it’s been a blessing, too....

    April 20, 2014

  • Free pressure canner checks offered

    With warmer weather trying to get a grip on April’s temperatures, it’s time to get the dial on your pressure canner checked. This is a free service provided by the Cleveland County Extension Office, 601 E. Robinson St. in Norman....

    April 20, 2014

  • Norman artist pledges to continue painting until colors fade

    About five or six months ago, I came across an article in The Norman Transcript about local artist Almira Hill Grammer, who had a display of her work at the State Capitol....

    April 20, 2014

  • ‘Blood moon’ rising

    I guess we all have one thing in common right now. We survived a “blood moon.” What a whirlwind of a week. It seemed that, like Hillary Clinton, the universe was just tossing shoes at me left and right. Maybe it was a sign I need to slow ...

    April 20, 2014

  • What to know about use of BVO

    Q: I’ve heard about Brominated vegetable oil recently. Could you provide some more information? A: Brominated vegetable oil, also called BVO, is a food additive that is often used to keep citrus flavor emulsified in sodas and sports ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Blessing opens demo garden

    A blustery, gray day didn’t mute enthusiasm for the first Saturday of the spring season April 12 at the Cleveland County Master Gardeners demo gardens and the Norman Farm Market....

    April 20, 2014

  • OHCE members receive awards

    Cleveland County’s Oklahoma Home and Community Education members Carol Doner and Megan Doner were award winners at a recent OHCE District meeting in Mustang....

    April 20, 2014

  • Book signing set

    Author Jerry Webster, of Edmond, will sign copies of his book, “What Brings a Soldier to His Knees,” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings Books, 2300 W. Main St....

    April 20, 2014