If you have prediabetes, it means that your blood glucose levels are consistently higher than normal. It doesn't always mean you will develop diabetes. Still, you should take it seriously as high blood sugar causes many other concerning health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
People with type 2 diabetes are usually diagnosed with prediabetes first, and at that point there are still plenty of things you can do to take control of the situation.
Prediabetes is characterized by high blood glucose, which is confirmed using a blood test. Since various factors could affect your test results, the doctor might have you repeat the test to confirm the findings. There are three main types of blood tests used to assess your blood sugar:
This test measures your average blood glucose levels over the most recent three months.
You will need to fast for at least eight hours before your test. A result of 100 to 125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes.
Fasting is also required for OGTT. The test entails two blood draws, one at the start of your doctor's appointment and another two hours later after you've had a sweet drink, such as juice. If your blood sugar levels are between 140 and 199 mg/dL, prediabetes is confirmed.
As with most chronic conditions, genetic predisposition (in other words, family history of diabetes or prediabetes) seems to be the most significant risk factor. In truth, medical science does not know exactly what causes prediabetes, but there are certain commonalities among those who have it.
Glucose is essential to body and brain function. When we eat, our body breaks down the food and changes it into energy that feeds our cells. Our pancreas excretes a hormone called insulin, which is released into the bloodstream to process the sugars from our food and transport the energy out of our blood and into our cells.
If you are prediabetic, this process doesn't work as well as it should. Your pancreas might not produce as much insulin as your body needs, so instead of fueling up your body, the sugar stays in the bloodstream and builds up over time.
Research has determined a range of risk factors strongly related to prediabetes. These same risk factors also increase the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, but there are plenty of things you can change before that happens.
If one or more close family members (parents or siblings) have type 2 diabetes, you are automatically in a higher risk category. Although you can't change your DNA, awareness will help you stay on top of other risk factors you can control.
If you developed diabetes while pregnant, both you and your child are at greater risk for prediabetes.
Prediabetes can occur at any age, but the risk is greater if you're 45 or older.
Generally speaking, when waist size is greater than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women, the risk of prediabetes increases.
If your diet consists of mostly processed foods and sugary drinks, you could be at higher risk for prediabetes. Eating whole, fresh foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy fats, and whole grains, is associated with better health and lower risk.
Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and even being constantly exposed to second-hand smoke increases insulin resistance in some individuals and may lead to prediabetes.
Black, Hispanic, Asian Americans, and Native American populations have a higher incidence of prediabetes. Although the exact cause isn't clear, it is thought to involve a lack of access to health care and socioeconomic status.
Women with PCOS have a higher risk of obesity and prediabetes.
Being overweight is the number one risk factor for prediabetes, especially if you carry a lot of fat around your abdomen. Excess weight leads to insulin resistance.
Movement and exercise help you control your weight, which might lower your risk.
Obstructive sleep apnea has been identified as a risk factor for prediabetes.
Diabetes is associated with a range of severe health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputation, skin infections, and Alzheimer's disease. It does lasting damage to just about every organ in your body and seriously impacts your quality of life, including how you feel. Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from mental health and depressive disorders, digestive issues, sexual problems, hearing loss, and more.
If you've been diagnosed prediabetic, this is your chance to turn the tides, so you don't cross that lane into full-blown diabetes. Though certain risk factors, like age, race, and genetics are beyond your control, others are manageable.
Exercise is essential to keep your body functioning well. It's also good for your mental health and mood. Even if you've never set foot in a gym, staying fit and active is as easy as going for a walk in your neighborhood every day. Activity helps your body become more sensitive to insulin, controls blood sugar, and reduces your risk of heart disease. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity weekly - roughly 20 minutes a day. Studies show that losing just five-to-seven percent of your body weight not only reduces diabetes risk but also lowers your risk factors for vascular disease, stroke, and much more.
Eliminate processed foods from your diet as much as possible. Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains over pre-packaged foods. Avoid junk food, fast food, sweets, and fried foods as they contain unhealthy trans fats, sugar, and other unnatural ingredients. Cut out sugary drinks like sodas and juices. Water is best for hydration, but herbal tea is excellent too, hot, or cold. Avoid artificial sweeteners and refined sugar - stevia is a plant-based non-caloric sweetener that's great in coffee or tea.
If you live in a household where others smoke, perhaps you can ask them nicely to smoke outside or relegate the smoking to a single room.
Excessive stress often exacerbates issues like blood pressure, depression, and motivation to stick to your goals. Take time for yourself and try to anticipate problems or life events that might get in the way of your progress.
Still have questions? Call, or send us an email to learn more about how PreDia® can help.
*These Statements Have Not Been Evaluated By The Food & Drug Administration.This Product is Not Intended To Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Any Disease.