Individuals with risk factors for type 2 diabetes are urged to seek regular testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 25 million people in the U.S. currently suffer from diabetes. However, what may be more troubling is the fact that 79 million people have prediabetes, which puts them at a much higher risk of developing the full-blown condition.

Because of this fact, the agency has estimated that the number of people who have type 2 diabetes could triple over the next couple decades. However, there are many things a person with prediabetes can do to improve their health and avoid a worsening of their condition.

The American Diabetes Association says that individuals who have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, which include unhealthy body weight, poor diet and lack of physical activity, should be tested for the condition regularly.

This may allow doctors to identify the condition in its early stages. Like most diseases, type 2 diabetes is much more treatable when it is diagnosed early rather than later. When a person first becomes diabetic they may not even need any medications. Through improved diet and greater amounts of exercise, people may be able to resolve their metabolic problems entirely.

Studies have shown that losing between 5 and 10 percent of body weight and getting around 30 minutes of moderate-paced physical activity per day can help individuals who are in the early stages of type 2 diabetes prevent their condition from worsening and even improve their metabolic health. However, the key is catching the problem early.

This is why regular testing is so important for individuals with risk factors for the condition. While 79 million people may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a concerted effort may enable these individuals to avoid contributing to a public health crisis.