An Alarming Number Of Adults Have Prediabetes—and Doctors Aren’t Doing Anything About It
Here’s why this serious common condition shouldn’t go unchecked
“The doctors may be more focused on treating diabetes, not something that may lead to diabetes,” says study author Arch Mainous, Ph.D.
That’s bad news, because treating prediabetes—either with drugs like metformin or through a weight loss program incorporating healthy eating and exercise—is very successful at preventing or delaying the development of diabetes, he says.
And by preventing diabetes from occurring, you can stave off the serious implications of the disease, including damage to your kidneys, nerves, eyes, and heart, he says.
Your move, then, is to take a more active role in your own health.
Current guidelines by the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend that all adults over 40 who are overweight or obese get their blood sugar tested.
If you fall into that category, ask your doctor for a test. And when the results come in, follow up with him or her—don’t just sit back if your hear “everything is fine.”
Instead, inquire ask about what your levels actually are. If they fall into the prediabetes range, ask your doctor point-blank what you should be doing to get your levels back to normal, says Mainous.
You don’t necessarily need to jump right to meds, either. Your doctor can start you on a diet and exercise plan—a mixture of cardio and resistance training for 150 minutes a week is best—to see if that brings your levels down enough first, he says.