Gauge Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes With Prediabetes Testing

In last week’s post, we outlined the links between prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. This week, we are looking at the preventative steps you can take to lower your risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes, which includes prediabetes testing.

What exactly is prediabetes testing, how does it work, and why should you do it, anyway? Here are the details.

Detecting Prediabetes: The Why & How of Diabetes Testing

Using Diabetes Testing to Diagnose Prediabetes

People with prediabetes often exhibit no clear symptoms. Fortunately, there is an easy way to diagnose prediabetes and prevent it from progressing. As the Tel Aviv study found, a simple diabetes test measuring your A1c levels can detect prediabetes early on in at-risk populations — like people with a family history of diabetes, a primarily sedentary lifestyle, a poor diet, or problems with obesity.

In particular, the latest research was able to provide more quantifiable information about how risk for type-2 diabetes increases as A1c levels rise from 5.5% to 7%. According to the study, each 0.5% increase doubles an individual’s type-2 diabetes risk, and obesity doubled the chances of prediabetes progressing to type-2.

How Does Prediabetes Testing Work?Test Smartly Labs | Gauge Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes With Prediabetes Testing

The A1c diabetes test is simple: with one drop of blood, a lab can analyze your hemoglobin to determine your average blood sugar level over the past 2 – 3 months. The process is quick and painless, and unlike other diabetes testing you don’t have to fast or drink unappetizing, sugary drinks. Results are also given quickly, as the blood can be studied on-site. Normal A1c levels are 5.6% or below, prediabetes levels are 5.7 – 6.3%, and diabetes levels are 6.5% and up. Once prediabetes is diagnosed, you should be checked every 1 -2 years for type-2 diabetes.

How to Treat Prediabetes

Type-2 diabetes is hard or impossible to cure once it sets in. That’s why catching and treating prediabetes is key. If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to delay or prevent the full onset of type-2, including:

  • Losing weight: People with prediabetes who are obese or overweight are at higher risk for developing type-2 diabetes. Aim for 7% of your body weight, which lowers your type-2 diabetes risk by 58% or 71% if you are 60+ years old.
  • Increasing exercise: Exercising moderately for just 30 minutes a day 5 days per week lowers the risk of type-2 diabetes by 58% or 71% if you are 60+. Aerobic exercise such as cycling, brisk walking, and swimming works wonders.
  • Eating well-balanced meals: Dietary changes can help you lose weight, lowering your risk of type-2 diabetes. Balance low-fat proteins, fiber-filled whole grains, and vegetables to manage your prediabetes — and pay attention to portion control, calorie levels, and sugar and carbohydrate content.

Not all┬áprediabetes cases develop into type-2 diabetes, but it’s still important to implement these lifestyle changes to combat the effects of elevated blood sugar levels, including risk of stroke and heart disease, heightened blood pressure, and more. Your doctor might also prescribe medication to help you manage your prediabetes.

Gauge Your Risk With Prediabetes Testing Today

The first step to combating prediabetes is knowing whether you are at higher risk for type 2. With prediabetes testing by Test Smartly Labs, you can receive quick, reliable prediabetes testing, including fasting glucose panels and A1c screens.

To see if an Test Smartly Labs location near you offers walk-in wellness testing, including prediabetes screening or diabetest testing, find your local walk-in lab today!

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