Diabetes is a disease that happens when the level of blood sugar or glucose is unusually high. In some cases, however, certain individuals already have high blood sugar levels, but are still not considered diabetics. The condition they have is called prediabetes.
A lot of people who have prediabetes aren’t aware that they have the condition, since they don’t feel any symptoms.
Therefore, it is crucial for everyone to know the warning signs of prediabetes, to keep it from developing into a more chronic condition.
What is prediabetes?
If you have prediabetes, it means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but it is not high enough to be detected as type 2 diabetes, yet. People with uncontrolled prediabetes have a higher rate of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Sometimes, people who are diagnosed with prediabetes downplay its severity since they don’t show other warning signs of prediabetes aside from a high blood sugar level. But silently, the complications of prediabetes may begin without you knowing.
If not treated immediately, type 2 diabetes can damage the eyes, nerves, kidneys, blood vessels, and heart. But, with a change in lifestyle, you can prevent the worsening of prediabetes and lessen your risk of type 2 diabetes by 40%-70%.
Studies predict that approximately 470 million people worldwide will have prediabetes by 2030 based on the rise of prediabetes prevalence today.
Causes of prediabetes
Prediabetes occurs due to the body’s resistance to insulin and the dysfunction of B cells in the pancreas. For those who are prediabetic, your pancreas still produces insulin. However, the amount of insulin being produced isn’t enough to neutralize the rising level of your blood sugar.
Signs and Symptoms of prediabetes
A person with prediabetes can have the condition for years without any outward signs and symptoms. One of the many reasons why prediabetes develops into type 2 diabetes is because it is not diagnosed in time.
It is important to spot the warning signs of prediabetes, so you can prevent this serious health condition from progressing.
The symptoms and warning signs of prediabetes include:
- Darkening of skin on certain parts of the body like the neck, armpits, elbows, knees, and knuckles.
- Increased hunger
- Excessive thirst
- Increased frequency in urination
- Temporary blurring of vision
It is best to get screening tests immediately if you notice the following signs and symptoms of yourself or on someone you know.
Risk factor of prediabetes
The following are the factors that increase your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes:
When a person is overweight or obese, their muscles and tissue cells will become more resistant to your insulin hormones.
According to recent reports, a larger waistline increases a person’s resistance to insulin. Men with a waist size of over 120 cm (40.2 inches) and women with a waist size of over 88cm (34.7 inches) are more prone to prediabetes.
Lack of physical activity or exercise
When a person is inactive, their bodies cannot use glucose and insulin effectively, thus increasing their susceptibility to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Consuming overly sweet beverages and foods, as well as red meats and high-carb meals, can make blood sugar spike to a higher than normal level.
People over the age of 45 are more vulnerable to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
A person is at risk for prediabetes if diabetes runs in their family.
Underlying health conditions
Women with certain health conditions such as gestational diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome are more at risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Sleep deprivation, heavy alcohol drinking, and smoking can result in high insulin resistance.
If you have high cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as low HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol, then you’re a candidate for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Prevention of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes
Committing to a healthy diet and lifestyle can help prevent diabetes. But, for those with prediabetes, there are different measures to stop the progression to diabetes.
Have a healthy, balanced diet
Gravitate towards healthier food choices like fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich foods, and whole grains.
Regular physical activity, even 30 minutes daily for most days of the week, like brisk walking, jogging, and aerobics can help regulate blood sugar and overall health.
Maintain a healthier weight
Shedding off those extra pounds can help you achieve lower blood sugar levels as well as better insulin sensitivity.
Choose a better lifestyle
Quit smoking, limit your alcohol intake, and have a good sleep to reduce your risks of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Do screening tests and take your medications
To prevent the progression of prediabetes, it is advisable to do screenings as early as possible. Also, remember to take your medicine as per your doctor’s advice to help relieve your symptoms.
Prediabetes is a serious health issue that must be addressed immediately. Knowing the warning signs of prediabetes can help prevent progression to type 2 diabetes.
If you suspect that you have prediabetes, it is of great importance to get screening tests done as soon as possible. Doing this will help your doctor find ways on how to stop the condition from worsening.
Always remember that the key to a healthier body is a healthy lifestyle, combined with commitment, and discipline.
Learn more about Diabetes, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.