Chances are someone at your company or someone else you know has diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2015 more than 30 million people (9.4 percent of the U.S. population) have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition, if not treated, that often leads to full-on diabetes within five years.

Silent symptoms

You can't count on having symptoms of prediabetes to warn you of the condition, because often there are none. The only way to know for sure is to have your blood sugar level measured. Your doctor may want you to be tested if you're age 45 or older. Even if you're younger than 45, your doctor might also want you to get tested if you are overweight and have other risk factors, such as -

  • A family history of diabetes
  • Are African American, Asian American or Hispanic / Latino
  • High blood pressure

Information is power

If your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not quite high enough to be type 2 diabetes and you have other health conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol or obesity, you may have prediabetes. In practical terms, this means you still have time to make lifestyle changes to avoid full-blown diabetes. Losing weight with a diet lower in fat and calories and establishing a regular exercise routine can make a big difference. Shedding even 7 percent of your body weight can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Take action

As an employer, doing everything you can to provide a healthy workplace and support your employees’ proactive efforts to eat better and exercise more can help stave off type 2 diabetes. ​Ways an employer can help –

  • Encourage your employees to take advantage of Quartz Well, where they can earn rewards for healthy behaviors. Go to QuartzBenefits.com/well for program details.
  • Let employees know about our Diabetes Management Program for personalized assistance in managing their​ condition. QuartzBenefits.com/diabetes to learn more.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Diabetes Association
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Did you know?

  • Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
  • Type 2 diabetes was previously known as adult-onset diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly.