NARRATOR: Diabetes is a serious chronic health threat in America.
It affects tens of millions of people,
and one of the biggest problems --
many people don't know they have the disease.
Some of the statistics are staggering.
More than 1 in 10 adults has the disease.
Experts warn that the problem often gets worse with age.
When you're at age 60 and beyond,
the likelihood goes up to 1 in 4.
The risk of diabetes is higher
among certain ethnic groups in the United States.
The other risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes
are being overweight or obese,
having a family history of Type 2 diabetes.
In addition, if you had diabetes while you were pregnant
or if you have a history of high blood pressure,
those are also risk factors
for developing diabetes at a later point.
I was, you know, relatively healthy, fit,
doing the right things, I thought,
and never thought that I would be someone with prediabetes.
NARRATOR: Millington works with diabetes-prevention
and control programs across the United States
and understands the long-term consequences of the disease.
I mean, "shocked" is an understatement.
ALBRIGHT: Prediabetes is a condition
in which your blood sugar, blood glucose, is elevated,
but it's not yet high enough to be considered diabetes.
The notion that people have about sugar
is that sugar causes diabetes,
but it's not really that.
It's the body's inability to break down sugar in the blood,
and it's not just from foods, but from food and drink.
NARRATOR: Many people who have the disease don't know it.
Diabetes can cause serious health problems,
such as heart disease, stroke, amputations, and blindness.
ALBRIGHT: The classic symptoms of diabetes
are excessive thirst,
You may feel really significant hunger.
People are also fatigued.
They may get blurry vision.
Sometimes people can develop diabetes
without having any warning signs at all.
I have a child and I have a wife,
and I wanted to make sure
that I would do the things that was necessary
for me to be around.
ALBRIGHT: Healthy eating and physical activity
keep your body weight in a healthy range.
GREGG: Just losing 5% to 7% of their body weight
seems to make a big difference
in their risk of developing diabetes later on.
NARRATOR: That weight loss and exercise combination
is often enough to prevent prediabetes
from progressing into full Type 2 diabetes.
It's important to follow up with your doctor.
Knowing your risk and then working with your doctor
to develop a plan.
ALBRIGHT: Your healthcare professional can help you determine
whether or not you need to have a simple blood test
to determine what your risk status is for diabetes.
NARRATOR: Lifestyle programs can help you battle the disease
through exercise and advice on making healthier food choices.
It's knowing when to eat, what to eat, and how to eat,
portion controls --
those were the things that really helped me,
and it empowers you.
NARRATOR: Some health studies have shown
diabetes can shorten your life-span
by an average of 15 years.
Having a support network is very important,
and understanding that this is not a disease
that you can fight by yourself, this is also important.
NARRATOR: Talk to your doctor,
get screened if you are at risk, and learn how to avoid becoming
one of the millions of new cases of diabetes each year.
Change the course.
You can help prevent diabetes.