Over 10 percent of the U.S. adult population has diabetes, and one in three have prediabetes. What does this mean? America needs to wake up and start making changes today. Don’t be fooled into thinking that prediabetes is not serious. Prediabetes means your blood sugars are elevated and that without any lifestyle changes, you are on track to develop type 2 diabetes and have a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. A diagnosis of prediabetes should serve as a health wake-up call for you to make dietary changes and be physically active to help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition where too much sugar accumulates in the blood. This happens when your pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. When we eat, our food converts into sugar and the hormone insulin transports sugar to our cells to provide our body with the energy it needs. Transporting sugar from the bloodstream to our cells helps keep our blood sugars at a healthy level. With time, high blood sugar levels can damage cells and organs and increase our risk of complications such as heart attack, stroke, and eye, kidney, and nerve damage.

Virginia Aparicio is Health & Human Sciences educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. She can be reached at 574-533-0554 or  vaparici@purdue.edu

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