People who learn that they are prediabetic are told to take care of themselves so that it doesn’t progress into a more serious condition. It is possible to avoid diabetes when you are prediabetic. However, new research has found that prediabetes can lead to diabetes in as little as one year.
In adults over the age of 65 with prediabetes, one in 20 will develop diabetes within a year, according to the Longitudinal Epidemiologic Assessment of Diabetes Risk (LEADR) study. The study looked at medical information from more than two million people collected between 2010 and 2018. The risk was higher for people with a higher body mass index (BMI), higher blood sugar levels, family history of diabetes and people with hypertension.
“Prediabetes is a significant warning sign. It is the time to act,” said registered nutritionist Phallon LoveLady, manager of Community Health Programs with Spectrum Health. “It is when your body is saying, ‘If we do not turn around now, it will be too late.’”
If someone is diagnosed as prediabetic, they should talk to their doctor about their best steps forward. Changing to a healthier diet rich in vegetables and low in processed carbs and sugar is a great move. And adding more movement and walking into the day can help keep blood sugar lower and keep the body healthy.
Approximately one in three adults in the U.S. have prediabetes are more than 80 percent aren’t aware of it. Knowing that there is a problem is the first step to solving it. So, speaking to a doctor about health factors is essential, especially if there is a family history of diabetes or if an individual has hypertension.
“There may be a lot you are able to do to halt or revert its development with the assistance of a doctor or endocrinologist — the earlier, the higher,” said Dr. Claudia Ramirez Bustamante of Baylor School of Drugs.
While it might sound alarming that prediabetes can progress so quickly, it’s important to remember that the situation can be turned around. All is not lost! Lifestyle changes can make a difference. Doctors may also consider using some medications. But, this research does underscore the importance of taking diagnoses seriously, listening to advice and making changes for better health. It’s possible to avoid serious health concerns, but healthy steps are a must.