Prediabetes and insulin resistance
Maharani Devi Medical Center
Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru Feb 22, 2019
Prediabetes is a medical condition in which the blood sugar levels are higher than the normal, but not high enough to be qualified for type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is also known as impaired glucose tolerance and without medical intervention, it is likely to progress to type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas in the body that assists the glucose in blood cells to enter muscles, fat, and liver, where it can be further utilized for energy. Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in muscles, fat, and liver do not respond well to insulin and hence cannot easily absorb glucose from the blood. As a result of this, the pancreas produces even higher quantities of insulin for glucose absorption.
What is prediabetes?
As already mentioned, prediabetes is a condition when the blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough for type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes usually occurs in people who have some levels of insulin resistance or in people whose pancreas do not generate a sufficient amount of insulin. If left untreated, it can lead to type 2 diabetes over time.
There are no specific signs or symptoms of prediabetes. In some cases, darkened skin in certain parts of the body like neck, armpits etc. may indicate a high risk of type 2 diabetes. The condition, however, can be diagnosed with the help of blood tests. Symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision may indicate the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.
People with the following risk factors are more likely to develop prediabetes and subsequently, type 2 diabetes:
- Obesity: being overweight is a primary risk for prediabetes.
- Age: though it can happen at any age, the risk increases after the age of 45.
- Genetics: people with a family history of diabetes are at a higher risk.
- Lifestyle: eating a poor diet and living a sedentary lifestyle also greatly increase the risk.
- People with health conditions like high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides are also at a higher risk of prediabetes.
Though certain factors like genetics are beyond the control of the individual, by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and closely monitoring the blood sugar levels, the condition can be managed to a very significant extent.
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