Left untreated, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
If you have it, take steps to control it
Eating well and being active can help you be at your healthy weight - this is even more important during the time of COVID-19. Being at a healthy weight can help you in many ways, including helping you avoid getting prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high but not yet high enough to be diabetes. If you have prediabetes, getting to a healthy weight can also stop you from advancing from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.
If prediabetes is not addressed and becomes type 2 diabetes many health issues can result, including heart disease, stroke and more. Other health complications can include kidney disease, amputations, vision loss, and tooth loss. To find out more on how to protect yourself, go to www.cdc.gov/diabetes.
Find out if you may have prediabetes by clicking here: www.cdc.gov/prediabetes/takethetest.
If you learn you have prediabetes, this site can help you find a program to help you stop prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes.
If you already have diabetes, there are steps you need to take to monitor your health
Diabetes is a serious disease. It requires self-management skills and working closely with health care providers to keep healthy. Uncontrolled blood sugars can lead to several health issues including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Loss of vision
- Dental problems
To help avoid complications, in addition to controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol control is important. The easy way to remember is to know your "ABC's":
A: A1c Test A 3-month average of your blood sugar. Aim to stay in your target range as much as possible.
B: Blood Pressure Try to keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg (or the target your doctor sets). The guidelines used to diagnosis high blood pressure may differ from health care professional to health care professional so be sure to talk to your doctor.
C: Cholesterol Manage your cholesterol levels.
S: Smoking Stop smoking or don't start.
Managing diabetes can be challenging. To help you, diabetes care and education specialists have developed seven key areas on which to focus. These include:
Health Education is very important to your diabetes care. The food you eat affects your blood sugar. It is important to eat a balanced diet to get the right amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Being Active helps keep your blood sugar levels in a normal ranges. It has many other benefits as well including lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure, lowering stress and anxiety, and improving your mood.
Monitoring Blood Sugar Checking your blood sugar levels regularly gives you important information about your diabetes management. Monitoring helps you know when your blood sugar levels are in your target range.
Taking Medication There are several types of medications that are often recommended for people with diabetes. These may include insulin or other injectable medications, pills that lower your blood sugar, low dose aspirin, blood pressure medications, cholesterol-lowering medication and others. Work closely with your health care provider and pharmacist to be sure you can afford your medicines and that the combination is right for you.
Problem Solving Everyone comes up against problems with controlling their diabetes. Although you can't plan for every situation there are problem-solving skills that can help you prepare for the unexpected and make a plan for dealing with similar problems in the future.
Reducing Risks This includes working with your health care provider to get the recommended vaccines and health screenings. There are also things you can do to reduce risks such as not smoking and limiting the amount of alcohol you drink.
Healthy Coping Diabetes can affect you physically and emotionally. Many people have emotional highs and lows. It is important to recognize these emotions as normal. Take steps to cope in healthy ways like moving more and seeking support.
Work with your health care team to help you manage diabetes.
Your team can include doctors, nurse practitioners, diabetes care and education specialists, nurses, dietitians, exercise specialists, social workers, mental health counselors, eye doctors, foot doctors, dentists and pharmacists. They provide many important services. For example, for people with Medicare part D, your pharmacist can do medication review with you once a year. Pharmacists are medication experts that you can easily access in your community.
For more Connecticut-specific diabetes information, please visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health's diabetes web page.
Heart Disease and Stroke
Seek care for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol right away.
Don't wait! Call 911 at the first sign of a heart attack, stroke or other emergency.
Signs of a heart attack include:
- Chest discomfort or pressure that doesn't go away; pain in neck, jaw, shoulder or arms
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Learn more at www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/heart_attack.htm
Signs of a stroke include:
If you are having ANY of these signs of stroke: Think F.A.S.T.!
- Face Drooping - does one side of the face droop or feel numb?
- Arm weakness - does one arm feel weak or numb?
- Speech difficulty - is speech slurred, or is the person unable to speak?
- Time to call 911 - a person having a stroke needs medical care immediately.
- Learn more at www.cdc.gov/stroke.
Heart disease in Connecticut
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Connecticut and in the United States.
- Over 7,000 people in Connecticut die from heart disease each year - nearly one in four deaths.
Preventing heart disease
High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
Fortunately, you can do something about these risk factors by working to control your blood pressure and blood cholesterol and by stopping smoking. Increasing your physical activity and making healthy changes to what you eat can also make a big difference in reducing your risk for heart attacks and stroke, plus help reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. Work with your health care provider to find ways that work for you.
Check your risk for developing heart here: www.cvriskcalculator.com.
Controlling cholesterol and heart attack and stroke
When your body has too much cholesterol, it can build up on the walls of the blood vessels. This build up is called plaque. As the plaque builds up over time the inside of the vessels narrow. This narrowing can eventually block the flow of blood to your heart causing a heart attack or block the flow of blood to your brain causing a stroke.
The only way to know your cholesterol level is to get a blood test.
Proven ways to help control cholesterol include a healthy, low fat diet, physical activity and, in some case, medication. Work with your health care provider to find what is right for you.
Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart attack and stroke
Blood pressure is the amount of force or pressure of your blood as it flows through your blood vessels. Blood pressure readings have two numbers. The top number (systolic) measures the pressure when your heart makes a beat; the bottom number (diastolic) measures the pressure when your heart is between beats. When the pressure gets too high your blood vessels can become damaged increasing chances for a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure (HBP) is also called hypertension.
The only way to know your blood pressure numbers is to use a blood pressure measuring device. There are many different types of blood pressure devices including many that can easily be used yourself at home.
Check with your health care provider about whether you should check your blood pressure at home and what kind of device would be best and most affordable for you. Some insurance providers will pay for a blood pressure device - ask your insurance provider. In Connecticut, Medicaid will cover the cost of a home cuff if your doctor writes a prescription for you.
Proven ways to help control blood pressure include a healthy, low sodium diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, physical activity, stress reduction, and in some cases, medication. Work with your health care provider to find what is right for you.
What is normal blood pressure?
|Blood pressure category||Systolic (top number)||Diastolic (bottom number)|
|Normal-Healthy||Less than 120||and||Less than 80|
|Elevated||120-129||and||Less than 80|
|High Blood Pressure Stage 1||130-139||or||80-89|
|High Blood Pressure Stage 2||140 or higher||or||90 or higher|
|Hypertensive Crisis||180 higher||and/or||120 or higher|
For more Connecticut-specific heart disease and stroke information, please visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health's heart disease and stroke web page.