What Is Prediabetes
Prediabetes is a health condition in which your blood sugar level will increase to a level higher than average. This higher blood sugar level doesn’t mean you have type 2 diabetes. However, children and adults suffering from Prediabetes can develop type 2 diabetes if they don’t change their lifestyle.
If you have Prediabetes, you may already be suffering from the long-term effects of diabetes, including damage to your blood vessel, kidneys, and heart. However, it’s nothing to worry about; it’s not always necessary to progress from Prediabetes to type II diabetes.
You can get your blood sugar level back to normal by eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, and doing regular physical exercise. Children can also regulate their blood sugar level by modifying their lifestyle in the same way adults do to escape from type 2 diabetes.
There are typically no symptoms or signs of Prediabetes. However, darkened skin on specific body parts such as armpits, neck, knees, elbows, and knuckles may appear.
The following are typical signs and symptoms that show you’ve progressed from Prediabetes to type 2 diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Excessive hunger
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
When should you consult a doctor?
Consult your doctor when you observe any signs or symptoms of diabetes type 2. Moreover, if you’ve any risk factors for diabetes type 2, you can ask the doctor to do a blood sugar screening.
Precisely, what causes Prediabetes is not known. However, some contributors can be
- Genetics and family history
- Lack of regular physical activity
- Having excess weight around the abdomen
What is evident is that people with Prediabetes can no longer effectively absorb sugar (glucose). Consequently, sugar will not do its normal function of providing energy to tissue and muscle-making cells. Instead, sugar starts accumulating in the blood.
The food you consume provides the majority of the glucose in your body. And this sugar reaches the bloodstream with the digestion of food. Insulin is needed to transport sugar from your bloodstream to your body’s cells.
The pancreas, a gland present behind the stomach, is the production centre of insulin. It’s responsible for sending insulin to your blood after you have a meal.
Insulin circulates in your bloodstream, allowing sugar to reach your cells and lowering blood sugar levels. The pancreas slows the release of insulin into the blood when the blood sugar level decreases.
In the case of Prediabetes, this process will not work in the same way. Either the pancreas stops making insulin, or the cells don’t allow the sugar to get absorbed. As a result, sugar will start accumulating in your bloodstream instead of providing energy to your cells.
Prediabetes: Risk factors
The factors that increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes also raise your chances of developing Prediabetes. These factors are:
Obesity is a significant risk factor for developing Prediabetes. The more fatty tissue you have around your abdomen, the more insulin resistant your cells become.
· Waist size
Wide waist size may demonstrate insulin resistance. However, the waist size associated with diabetes risk can vary according to gender. For instance,
- Men with a waist above 40 inches are more likely to develop diabetes.
- Women with a waist larger than 35 inches are at higher risk of developing diabetes.
You can be at higher risk of Prediabetes if you’re fond of drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and eating red meat and processed meat. However, taking a balanced diet high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil, and whole grains can decrease the risk of developing diabetes.
Staying inactive will leave you at a higher risk of Prediabetes. With regular physical activities, you can use insulin effectively for energy and control your body weight.
Even though diabetes can strike at any age, Prediabetes’s risk rises after the age of 45.
· Family history:
If your sibling or parents have diabetes, you’re at higher risk of Prediabetes.
· Race or ethnicity:
Further, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, and Black can develop Prediabetes more likely. However, the reason behind it is unknown.
· Gestational diabetes:
A child whose mom has diabetes during pregnancy is at higher risk of developing Prediabetes. Your doctor would most likely monitor your blood sugar levels at least once every three years if you were the one with gestational diabetes.
· Polycystic ovary syndrome:
Prediabetes is more likely in women who have this common disorder (PCO), marked by irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair development, and obesity.
Insulin resistance is more common in people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a disease that causes sleep disruptions frequently.
· Tobacco smoke:
Smoking has been linked to an increase in insulin resistance. Smokers also tend to have higher weight around the midsection.
The following are some of the other conditions linked to Prediabetes:
- Low levels of good cholesterol, the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
- High triglycerides levels
- High blood pressure
The occurrence of these disorders with obesity is also a factor in the development of insulin resistance. However, if three or more of these conditions co-occur, it’s known as metabolic syndrome.
Progression to type 2 diabetes is the most severe outcome of Prediabetes. The reason is the complication associated with type 2 diabetes:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Vision problems, probably vision loss
- Nerve damage
Even if you haven’t progressed to type 2 diabetes, Prediabetes has been related to unnoticed (silent) heart attacks and can harm your kidneys.
Even if diabetes is a genetic problem in your family, you can stop Prediabetes’s progression into type 2 diabetes by making healthy lifestyle decisions. Here’re some suggestions to prevent you from diabetes:
- Eat healthy foods
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
- Get rid of excessive weight
- Don’t forget to do moderate aerobic physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week
- Avoid smoking