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Pre-diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects millions of people, but it can be prevented.

About 57 million people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes – a condition of high blood sugar that puts them at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes.  Dr. Michael Jakoby, associate professor of endocrinology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says that many people have pre-diabetes and do not know it.  He explains the condition.

SOUND BITE:  “Pre-diabetes is a condition of elevated blood sugar.  The high blood sugar is not high enough to qualify a patient for a diagnosis of actual diabetes.  The normal fasting blood sugar in a non-diabetic falls in the range of 60 to 99.  Somebody with pre-diabetes will have a fasting blood sugar in the range of 100 to 125.”

Dr. Jakoby says people who have pre-diabetes may already be experiencing some adverse health effects of diabetes.  The condition can cause long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system.  He explains which individuals are considered high-risk for the disease.

SOUND BITE:    “. . . anyone over age of 45 years should have a fasting blood pressure screen as part of an annual physical exam. Other higher risk groups should be screened earlier and more often include any individual who is overweight or obese, someone who has a family history of diabetes, women who have a history of gestational diabetes . . .”

Dr. Jakoby urges middle-age individuals to talk to their primary care physician about being tested for pre-diabetes.  He says those with a pre-diabetes condition can lower their blood sugar by losing weight through exercise and eating a healthier diet.

This is Ruth Slottag, SIU School of Medicine, in Springfield.