Are You Moving Towards Type 2 Diabetes? Check Out These Prediabetes FAQs To Know More
Do you know? 80 million people in India are in prediabetic stage. The prevalence rate of prediabetes is about 10 percent among adults and if things go like that, the number of diabetic people in India is expected to double from current 70 million. As the numbers are horrific, this is truly a wakeup call in every sense.
Scroll through the page to know the most common question and answers related to prediabetes and check whether you are on the verge of getting type 2 diabetes.
What is prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. It means that the blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Normally, the body makes a hormone known as insulin that controls blood sugar in the body. When a person is in prediabetes stage, the insulin doesn’t work as well as it should be.
It also means the body is unable to make enough insulin or the body doesn’t respond to insulin in a proper manner. The cause of insulin resistance is not yet known.
In how much time span prediabetes can turn into type 2 diabetes?
If the lifestyle is not properly managed with appropriate diet, exercise and medication, then within 10 years of time, you can get type 2 diabetes.
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Are there any other names of prediabetes?
Don’t get confused if your doctor tells you that you have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). It means the same i.e. higher than normal blood sugar level after a meal. Other terms of prediabetes are:
- Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) – Higher than normal blood sugar level in the morning after breakfast
- Insulin resistance – It means the body is unable to use insulin effectively.
Is prediabetes same in men and women?
The number of women suffering from prediabetes has increased alarmingly, especially in India due to rapid urbanization and lifestyle. With age, slower metabolism becomes a concern for both men and women but women have to deal with some extra challenges.
First, the female hormones have a tendency to promote fat production and fat storage. Secondly, the muscle mass a woman start to lose at the age of 40 is often replaced by body fat which adds up to the body weight.
Symptoms - How do I know I have prediabetes?
Unfortunately, the bad news is that prediabetes doesn’t have any signs or symptoms. However, one possible symptom is dark and thick patches on areas including neck, elbows, armpits, and knees. This is usually associated with conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and acanthosis nigricans.
You might not know you have moved from prediabetic state to type 2 diabetes. So it is important to talk with the doctor if you are diagnosed with prediabetes and experiencing following symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Cut or wounds that takes longer time to heal
Risk factors – Who gets prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a major warning sign, if one fails to address it properly, it can lead to other serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Prediabetes can affect anyone, however, the risk factors which are responsible for type 2 diabetes are same in prediabetes. These factors increase the risk of insulin resistance.
- Being 45 years or old
- Overweight or body mass index of 25 and above
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history
- Waist size of 40 inches or more in man and 35 inches or more in women
- Unhealthy diet which includes sugary foods, sweetened beverages, and processed meat
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome characterized by irregular periods and excess hair growth
- Gestational diabetes which may put both mother and baby at risk
- Certain sleep disorder
If you have above risk factors, you must get yourself screened without delay.
Are there any complications of prediabetes?
Not taking appropriate steps in managing and treating prediabetes can result in type 2 diabetes. And with type 2 diabetes, a range of other health concerns can wreak havoc in your life. These include:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Kidney damage
- Nerve damage
- Foot damage
- Eye problems
- Skin infections
- Trouble hearing
How prediabetes can be diagnosed?
The doctor diagnoses the prediabetes in pretty much the same way as type 2 diabetes. The primary way is to conduct a range of blood tests including:
Hemoglobin A1c test – Also known as HbA1c test or glycosylated hemoglobin test, it measures average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months. This test can be done anytime and doesn’t require you to fast. If the A1c value is in between 5.7 and 6.4 percent, it is considered as prediabetes.
Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test – Before this procedure, you will need to fast for 8 hours. The doctor will then take a blood sample before you eat anything. If the blood sugar numbers are 100-125 milligram/deciliter, this indicates diabetes.
Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) – This test also requires fasting. The doctor will take blood sample twice; once at your arrival and the second time after you consume a sugary drink. If the numbers are in between 140-199 mg/dl after 2 hours, it indicates prediabetes.
Random plasma glucose (RPG) test – The parameters of this test is pretty much the same as oral glucose test as blood sugar between 140-199 mg/dl is considered prediabetes. This test doesn’t require fasting and can be done anytime. If the blood sugars are normal, this test should be repeated every three years.
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Treatment and management – Is prediabetes reversible?
Yes, prediabetes can be reversible through lifestyle changes and bring your blood sugar level back to normal. Prediabetes can be prevented from progressing to type 2 diabetes through following ways:
- Eating a healthy balanced diet rich in fiber and low in fat and calories. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grain should be preferred.
- Aiming for exercise or physical activity about 30-60 minutes daily. Choose anything from walking, running or strength training.
- For overweight people, cutting 10 percent of the body weight can bring a range of benefits.
- By reducing the carbohydrate intake.
- The doctor may also recommend medication for managing blood sugar (metformin), cholesterol and high blood pressure.
The key to counter prediabetes is to go for screening if you have any of the risk factors mentioned above. Remember, type 2 diabetes can negatively affect your quality of life by bringing a lot of long-term complications. So it is better to prevent the condition at first place with the right diet and lifestyle changes. Talk to a diabetologist who specializes in treating diabetes.