As you know, most days, I use this space to talk about current events and my thoughts on what is happening in the world.

However, today I want to talk about something that has been brought to my attention by a good friend and a well-respected professional in the medical field, Dr. Angel Lazo, Jr.

Dr. Lazo has been doing some amazing work involving pre-diabetes and since it is something that affects so many people, I wanted to share some of what he and I have been talking about.

Let me start by answering the obvious question, which is “what is pre-diabetes?”

Pre-Diabetes is a condition where a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to have diabetes.

Sounds harmless, but it is actually an enormous health problem, which unfortunately does not get talked about very much at all.

Just how big of a problem is it?

I’ll make it simple: Over 85 million Americans have pre-diabetes.

I know what you are thinking: Ok, that is bad, but they just have blood sugar that is higher than normal, but is that really such a big deal?

Sadly, yes it is.

The reason?

Between 15–30% of those with pre-diabetes will eventually become diabetic, with current data showing us that nearly 30 million Americans have some form of diabetes.

And the craziest part of all?

A whopping 90% of those with pre-diabetes — roughly 75 million people — do not even know they have it!

Keep in mind this is something that can lead to not just diabetes, but strokes and heart disease as well.

However, pre-diabetes is not just a massive issue from a health standpoint, as it can wreak economic havoc as well.

The average yearly cost to insure somebody with diabetes is almost $8,000, an exorbitantly high dollar figure for the vast majority of Americans.

Not to mention the incredible cost to the medicare system, as a staggeringly high percentage of medicare dollars get spent on diabetes-related medical treatments.

Thankfully, though there is some light at the end of the tunnel, as there are ways to fight pre-diabetes.

And the good news is, the steps you can take are neither prohibitively expensive nor exceedingly difficult.

It all boils down to one thing first and foremost: Controlling your blood sugar.

So what is the best way to do that?

Well, before you do anything personally, we all need to do our part to increase pre-diabetes awareness.

The pre-diabetes symbol being universally accepted would go a long way towards advancing that goal, the same way the pink ribbon did for breast cancer awareness.

That said, as far as what you can do in your own daily life, first, make sure you participate in at least moderate exercise for 30 minutes per day, five days per week.

Second, hold yourself to a relatively healthy diet that does not contain very many foods with high levels of sugar and carbohydrates, but does include plenty of vegetables and lean protein.

Last, but certainly not least, have your blood sugar checked by a doctor regularly, that way you know if your levels are too high and you need to make adjustments to your daily routine.

Believe it or not, following those three steps can lower your risk of diabetes by nearly 50% and drastically reduce necessary medical costs that need to be paid by you or a third party provider.

This all sounds easy, and it is, but only if you are aware of what you need to do and actually follow the steps.

The end result is substantially increasing the odds you will live a longer, healthier life, so there is no question that staying vigilant about this is extremely important to your overall long-term well-being.

For more information, please visit Dr Lazo’s pre-diabetes website.

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