Healthy Habits: Monitoring risk for pre-diabetes

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Out of the 84.1 million people with prediabetes in the United States, experts say 9 out of 10 people don't know they have it.

In this month's Healthy Habits segment with Vidant Health, Susan Houston, RN, BSN CDE, shares a simple test for determining one's risk for developing prediabetes.

Houston says prediabetes occurs when the pancreas starts to become inefficient but with education and lifestyle changes, it is possible to prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes.

Risk Assessment:
This simple risk test you can do at home right now by counting how many of these categories sound like you. If you have more than 5 fingers held up, you are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
1. Are you 40-50? If so, that’s a point. 50-60 is 2 points and 60 or older is 3 points.
2. Are you a man? If so, that’s a point.
3. If you are a woman, have you ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes? If so, that’s a point.
4. Do you have a mother, father, sister or brother with diabetes? If so, that’s a point.
5. Have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure? If so, that’s a point.
6. Are you physically active? If not, that’s a point.
7. Lastly, are you overweight? If so, that’s a point.

If you have 5 or more points, Houston says to check in with your doctor and start looking for ways to use food and exercise as medicine to try and lose 5-7% of body weight.

There is also a free national program and there are free local resources in Eastern Carolina for managing prediabetes.

You can learn more by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/home/index.html, https://www.diabetesnc.com/, or http://www.diabetes.org/.