Are You At Risk For Pre-Diabetes?
Oxygen|February 2016

The hidden syndrome you need to know about.

Karen ASP

Eight years ago, Tanya Norris of Los Angeles began waking up with a headache almost daily. By midafternoon, the now 42-year-old fitness professional and fitness competitor was so drained she could barely keep her eyes open. Never mind that she was teaching six fitness classes, logging her own workouts and eating healthy, hence her svelte figure. She knew something was wrong, but when she sought help from her doctor, the diagnosis shocked her: pre-diabetes.

Diabetes, however, wasn’t totally off Norris’ radar. After all, her parents and grandmothers had it, so she knew it was in her family history, but she thought her active, healthy lifestyle would protect her. “I always said this would never happen to me,” she says.

Norris, though, isn’t alone. Between 37 and 38 percent of the population has pre-diabetes, according to a new study from The Journal of the American Medical Association. Worse? Roughly 90 percent don’t even know it, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Could you be one of them? 

Why healthy women are vulnerable

No doubt you’re familiar with diabetes, a disease in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are above normal. With pre diabetes, however, blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Trouble is, though, pre-diabetes, even diabetes for that matter, is largely silent. “There usually aren’t any symptoms, which is why so many people remain undiagnosed,” says Robert Gabbay, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

So why worry about pre-diabetes? Namely because it can lead to devastating health consequences. “This group is at higher risk of not only developing Type 2 diabetes but also cardiovascular disease,” Gabbay says.

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