Pre-diabetes means you probably have higher than normal blood-sugar levels but, fortunately, not high enough to be classed as being diabetic.

However it does mean that you are susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease if you do nothing about it.

Unfortunately, more often than not, there are no physical symptoms to warn you if you are in a pre-diabetes stage. So it’s worth getting yourself checked out and, if you fall into any of these categories, ask your physician if you are likely to be at risk of pre-diabetes:

* You are overweight and you are aged 45 or older

* Your weight is OK and you’re aged 45+. Ask your doctor during a routine check-up if testing is appropriate for you

* You are an adult under age 45 and you are overweight

* You have high blood pressure; low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides

* Your family has a history of diabetes

* There’s a history of gestational diabetes in your family

* You have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds

* You belong to an ethnic or minority group that has a high risk for diabetes, such as African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino.

The good news is, if after testing you discover that you do have pre-diabetes; your blood-sugar levels are rather higher than they should be but not in the diabetes range, you can take positive action to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

* Reduce the amount on your plate – eating just a little less helps reduce your risk factor.

* Avoid snacks; if you must snack go for a healthy rather than sugar-laden option.

* Drink a glass of water 10 minutes before eating to take the edge of your appetite so you don’t overindulge in food.

* Choose whole-grain foods or sugar-free foods.

* Take a little more exercise; such as walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift or an escalator.

* Don’t shop for food when you are feeling hungry. You’ll be more tempted to buy the foods that increase your blood-sugars; add on weight and generally create a higer risk of moving from your pre-diabetes state into being a fully diagnosed type 2 diabetic.

Taking these and other simple actions can reduce your risk of turning pre-diabetes into type 2 diabetes.

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