Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes have Become Nation-Wide Epidemics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 1 in 3 Americans (all ages) have prediabetes. While those statistics are sufficiently alarming on their own, certain states have even higher prevalence of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
A 2016 UCLA study estimates nearly half of all adults in California have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes: 46 percent of all adults, and 33 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 39. Additionally, 13.4% of California’s population (more than 4 million people) already have type 2 diabetes, and of these, more than one million Californians has type 2 diabetes, but have not yet been diagnosed.
According to the CDC, 15.2% of people in Alabama already have diabetes (610,458) and of those, 127,000 do not know it yet. In addition to those who already have type 2 diabetes, another 37% of the people in Alabama have prediabetes, and each year, 29,000 people are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Alabama.
70% of those with untreated prediabetes will go on to develop full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is still a debated health issue, in fact, what to call it is even debated — many now want to refer to prediabetes as “Stage 1 Diabetes” in order to better communicate the important of diagnosis and treatment.
Is prediabetes an early form of type 2 diabetes that can still be reversed? Or is prediabetes simply a warning sign or risk factor of type 2 diabetes?
How your doctor answers this question could affect how you are treated. The CDC advises that prediabetes is a serious metabolic condition that warrants treatment. Treatment may vary, but can include medications to increase insulin sensitivity (and/or to lower blood glucose), changes in lifestyle (exercise, stress management, dietary changes), weight loss if warranted, and trying to improve your sleep habits.