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The Test You Need To Take If You're Over 40 And Overweight

The number on the scale might not be the only number you need to worry about: People age 40 or older who are overweight or obese should be tested for abnormal blood sugar levels, according to a brand-new recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel of medical experts who make recommendations on health screenings and services.

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Abnormal blood sugar levels mean that your body isn't breaking down and using sugar the way it should, which can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, says Mike Pignone, MD, chief of the division of general internal medicine at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and a member of the USPSTF.

(These 5 Surprising Habits May Raise Your Risk of Diabetes, too.)

Blood sugar abnormalities don't meet the criteria for diabetes, but they can suggest you're on your way to it. Your doctor can test your levels with one of three tests: the hemoglobin A1C, fasting plasma glucose, or oral glucose tolerance test.

If your levels are found to be abnormal, that signals a problem. Abnormal levels are between 5.7 and 6.5% on the hemoglobin A1C test, between 100 and 125 mg/dL on the fasting plasma glucose test, and between 140 and 199 mg/dL on the oral glucose tolerance test. (The good news? Diabetes doesn't have to be your fate; Rodale's new book, , shows you exactly what to eat and do to prevent the disease—and even reverse it).

The recommendation to test all overweight adults age 40 and older is an update of the USPSTF's 2008 recommendation, which suggested screening only adults with high blood pressure for type 2 diabetes. Now the experts believe extra weight, or a BMI of 25 or above, should also prompt screening, since it raises the risk of blood sugar problems and heart issues—even if those people are currently symptom-free.

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"The task force found that treating people who have abnormal blood sugar with intensive lifestyle interventions may decrease their risk of progressing to diabetes and improve other cardiovascular risk factors," Dr. Pignone says.

In other words, catching the problem early—before you develop any symptoms—may give you a better shot at keeping diabetes at bay. That can save you from complications like nerve damage, blindness, or kidney failure.

If you have abnormal blood sugar, the USPSTF recommends asking your doctor about getting into a counseling program that focuses on improving your nutrition and eating behaviors and increasing your physical activity in order to bring your blood sugar within a normal range.

(Try incorporating these 12 Powerfoods That Beat Diabetes in your diet.)

Important note: You may benefit from screening even if you're younger than 40 or are at a normal weight, especially if you are African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic or Latino, or Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. These racial or ethnic groups have a higher risk of diabetes, so you should talk to your doctor to see if you should get tested.






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Date: 09.12.2018, 08:49 / Views: 91583