Diabetic Dad: What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a major health concern in the U.S. and the world over.  To be considered “Prediabetic,” a person’s fasting blood glucose level will be between 100 and 125 mmol/L.  A more accurate method of determining prediabetes is an A1C test.  This test provides information about your blood glucose level over a 3-month period.  An A1C between 5.6 and 6.4 is commonly referred to as prediabetic.  Without immediate changes to diet and lifestyle, there is an almost 100 % chance that prediabetes will eventually progress to type 2 diabetes. 

Let’s face it guys, if your doctor gave you the news that you are pre-diabetic, you would think “Lucky me, I’m not diabetic” and proceed with little regard for the consequences.  How pray tell do I know this?  That is exactly what I did for years, and because I only had a physical once every five years (as is recommended for most men between the ages of 20 and 45) I never thought about it again.  The result being that I lost the “Pre” and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes while lying in a hospital bed with a blood glucose level over 900. 

Prediabetes has no general symptoms. However, there is an effective home-based method to determine if you should consult your doctor.  It is called the “Mirror Test.”   Stand in front of a mirror, turn to the right or left and observe the area between your chest and hips.  If you observe a rounding or protrusion of the abdominal area (no matter how slight) you should have your A1C checked.  There is a large percentage of undiagnosed men suffering from prediabetes. Currently, the number of U.S. men living with prediabetes is almost 45 million. 41 million of them have no idea they have it. A third of U.S. men have prediabetes or are diabetic and most of them have no idea they have it. 

Now for the good news.  In many cases, these complications can be delayed or prevented altogether.  By implementing specific changes to your current eating habits and activity level, you can begin the process of living longer and stop dying slower.

Diabetic Dad: Prediabetes and Men Infographic

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