More than 1 in 3 American Adults have pre-diabetes
According to the CDC approximately 96 million American adults - that's more than 1 in 3 - have prediabetes. What's even more concerning is that more than 80% don't know they have it. Yep, more than 80% don't know. How could that be? There are so many possible explanations but to not point fingers at one reason or another, let's be honest ... when do you go to the doctor? When you feel sick? When you get hurt? When you're getting life insurance? Most often, people with prediabetes don't experience noticeably uncomfortable symptoms. Heck, most don't experience symptoms at all, and those that do, well most shrug it off as simply getting older, having had an extra stressful day, week, month, or year, or just have not slept well.
You see we've all become experts at acclimating. We adjust. We adapt. We ignore the signs. Why? Because we have "stuff" to do and few of us are interested in taking time off, voluntarily, to address a symptom that we can just ignore. So we keep working. We keep pushing. We accept that every morning when we wake up, we'll hit the snooze 3 or 4 times, or just have to give extra effort to pull ourselves out of bed. We grab another energy drink or cup of coffee around midday to help us keep our eyes open. We pop a few pain pills to help with the achy joints, muscles, or headache. We apologize after snapping at whomever for whatever reason and blame it on just being too busy, too stressed, too tired ... too something. Then to make things even more dismissive, when we do decide to go to the doctor, they check our blood pressure, temperature, and pulse. If all that checks out, then we're "cleared" and just need to sleep better, or reduce stress, cause you know, it's so easy to just "sleep better" and "reduce stress", right? And if it isn't that easy, or if our blood pressure is elevated, we get prescribed blood pressure medication (for life). If we have a fever, we are told to take ibuprofen and Tylenol and don't forget that antibiotic. After all, bacterial infections are the only things that spike a fever. We fill our prescriptions, our fever "comes down", our blood pressure eventually regulates, and once again, we are "cleared" by our doctor. How you feel, doesn't come into play. What your lab results or biomarkers show, is how you are "treated" and the rest is just what happens now that you're getting older.
SIDEBAR: Remember when I mentioned that one of the goals of Tisha Talk is to shake things up in your health world? Well let's do some shaking, shall we?
Prediabetes is NOT what happens because you are getting older. And as I mentioned last week, it's also not because your mother, grandfather, or aunt had it either. Prediabetes is your body telling you that your lifestyle is working against your body and making you sick. Your body is doing all it can to reduce the amount of glucose (sugar) floating around in your veins, causing damage, and it's having a harder and harder time doing so.
Prediabetes is no joke and there is nothing "pre" about it. I honestly can't stand the term. It implies that you don't have any issues yet and this could not be further from the truth. Prediabetes should be called Stage 2 Insulin Resistance. If you recall from my previous article, once your body is overproducing insulin, to remove the glucose from your blood (stage 1 insulin resistance), and your blood glucose is starting to rise (stage 2 insulin resistance), you are now on track to developing type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is a serious health condition and puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
So how do you know if you are the 1 in 3 who has prediabetes? The easiest way is to get your glucose, and insulin levels tested, by testing:
- Fasting Glucose
- Fasting Insulin
While you may wish to wait and add those blood tests the next time you head to the doctor, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, test now and don't wait:
- Cravings for sweets and salty foods
- Fatigue (especially after meals) or low energy
- Hair loss
- Decreased testosterone or low muscle tone
- Fatty liver (NAFLD)
- High triglycerides
- Brain fog, trouble concentrating, learning new things, or memory loss
- Increased hunger or thirst
- Tingling sensations in your hands or feet
- Frequent or increased urination
- Weight gain (particularly in your midsection)
- Difficulty losing weight
- Dizzy spells
- Joint pain
- Muscle Cramps
- Dark skin patches on the back of your neck, on your elbows, knees, knuckles, or armpits (acanthosis nigricans)
- Skin tags
- High blood pressure
- History of gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Sleep apnea