It may come as a shocking revelation - as many as 90% of people who are pre-diabetic don’t know it. Finding out could provide them a window for change.
“By more physicians doing those A1c tests along with your annual labs, they are sending more consults to see the registered dietitian, their certified diabetes educator,” says Melanie Aracri, who is a certified diabetes educator for Lee Memorial Health System.
Someone without diabetes has a fasting blood sugar level below 100, a random blood sugar level below 140 and a three-month average blood sugar level, known as the A1c, below 5.7%.
When these levels are elevated, but not high enough to meet a diabetes standard, a person is considered pre-diabetic.
“The A1c for pre-diabetes is 5.7 to 6.4% is categorized as increased risk for diabetes and then greater than 6.4 or 6.5 is diagnosed as criteria for diabetes,” says Aracri.
Unlike full-blown diabetes which is a life-long condition, pre-diabetes signifies a high risk, but is reversible. As more attention is placed on it’s importance, people can find out how they measure up, and make appropriate changes.
“You are able to prevent going to type 2 diabetes when you’re in that pre-diabetes stage. By 10% weight loss and exercise,” says Aracri.
Experts find modifying diet to reduce carb intake and getting more physically active is proving to be a turning point for their patients.
“I really think they’re taking it to heart,” says Aracri.