- by Diabetacare 24x7 Diabetes Care
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- Jun 22 2017
Prediabetes: What Lies Ahead?
While most people focus on avoiding diabetes at all costs, many are still unaware of its forerunner, the prediabetes. Where, diabetes currently affects 415 million people worldwide, the prevalence of prediabetes is increasing worldwide and it is projected that more than 470 million people will have prediabetes in the year 2030.
What is Prediabetes?
In layman terms, prediabetes or ‘borderline diabetes’ is a warning sign for diabetes; when your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not enough to be considered as diabetes. The good news is that unlike diabetes, prediabetes is reversible with a few lifestyle changes. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). In the condition of prediabetes, the body has difficulty in processing glucose, and sugar begins to accumulate in the bloodstream instead of flowing through the body as people initially develop insulin resistance.
What are the symptoms of prediabetes?
Similar to diabetes, it is difficult to notice major symptoms for prediabetes as well. Though, it is possible that you might find certain signs that implicate the beginning of the disease;
· Increased appetite
· Excessive thirst
· Unexplained weight loss/gain
· Uncontrolled urination
· Extreme fatigue
What are the causes and risk factors?
Prediabetes can occur in anyone from any walk of life, and the exact cause is unknown. But, some factors might increase your chances for the same, and contribute to the development of prediabetes.
· Being Overweight/ Obese: If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is higher than 25, you’re at a high risk of developing prediabetes. Especially if your visceral or abdominal fat is high, the extra fat cells can make your body more insulin resistant.
· No Physical activity: The sedentary lifestyle has been forever known as the major cause of any diasease, and the same stands true for prediabetes as well.
· Genetic Factors: Prediabetes is a hereditary disorder. If you have a family history of diabetes or prediabetes, it makes you more likely to develop it.
· Old Age: The more your age, more the risk of developing prediabetes. It starts at age 45, and beyond 65 years, your risk increase exponentially.
· Gestational diabetes: If you were diagnosed with diabetes during your pregnany, it is highly likely that you may have prediabetes later on.
· Ethnicity: Certain races are at a higher risk for prediabetes, like African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans.
· Health complications: Hypertension (High blood pressure) and high cholesterol elevate your risk for borderline diabetes.
It is imperative that you are vigilant of the above factors in order to avoid turning prediabetes into diabetes, while there’s still time.
How is Prediabetes diagnosed?
If your doctor foresees any signs and symptoms, he/she will suggest you to take a blood test to know your exact condition. The result will vary depending on the type of test. In order to confirm the diagnosis, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH), suggests taking the same test twice. The tests can be one or both of the following two;
· Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test: This test is used to measure your average blood sugar levels for the past two to three months, and doesn’t require fasting. The precentge of blood sugar present in the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells (hemoglobin) is defined through this test. An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes.
· Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): This test requires you to fast for around eight hours before being carried out. On the day of the test, the doctor will first check the fasting blood glucose level at the beginning. This will be followed by another test post two hours, after you consume a sugary drink.
What are the treatments available?
Prediabetes requires you to make serious lifestyle changes in order to prevent further complications. The secret to avoid type 2 diabetes is to turn your life around, one alteration at a time;
· Proper diet: Healthy food is the key to a healthy body. Your detician can help you creat a meal plpan for yourself with respect to your glucose levels. The ultimate aim of this diet plan is to regulate your blood sugar levels to a normal range.
· Exercise: Fitness is a paramount when we speak about well-being. When you exercise, your body utilizes more glucose eventually reducing the blood sugar level making it less insulin resistant. In addition to this, the traditional benefits of the exercise include losing extra weight, good heart health and relaxed mind.
· Medications: Patients who are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes after the prediabetes diagnosis, the doctor will recommend medications along with practicing the lifestyle changes.
Your health is in your hands, and while it is impossible to know whether or not you will be diagnosed with prediabetes, it is recommended that you are vigilant of the symptoms. Regular health checkups and doctor consultations, will help you in coping with the disease.
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