Most of us have heard about diabetes, but did you know, that there is also something called as Prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which people have higher-than-normal glucose levels but not enough to indicate diabetes. It is also known as borderline diabetes, impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance. There aren’t any prediabetes symptoms per se, however, having prediabetes i.e. borderline diabetes exposes you to develop full-blown diabetes.
In contrast to diabetes when there is either a complete absence of insulin or inefficient use of insulin; pre-diabetes is characterized by an imbalance between glucose and insulin levels in the body.
Those with pre-diabetes are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other complications as well as associated conditions like heart disease, stroke and eye problems.
How is Prediabetes Diagnosed?
Doctors perform any of the following two blood tests to determine whether you have high blood sugar levels than it is in the normal case:
- During the FPGT Test a.k.a Impaired fasting glucose if it detects that the blood glucose level is higher than normal after fasting for eight hours (between 6.1 and 6.9 mmol/L) but not high enough to diagnose diabetes.
- Impaired glucose tolerance which is diagnosed using an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) and the two-hour blood test is higher than normal (between 7.8 and 11.0 mmol/L) but not high enough to diagnose diabetes.
Who are at risk?
While we know that Prediabetes precedes diabetes, there are certain other risk factors associated with this other than full-blown type 2 diabetes. You are more likely to experience prediabetes symptoms and further diabetes if fall under the below-mentioned categories:
- If you’re aged 45 years or above
- Overweight and physically inactive ( sedentary lifestyle )
- Large waistline
- Family history of diabetes, heart disease or stroke
- Suffering from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, and low HDL.
- A case of gestational diabetes (having temporarily elevated blood sugar levels, when you are pregnant) While this condition resolves by itself and does not necessarily develop into borderline diabetes or diabetes later on, it cannot be ruled out as a risk factor.
- Ever diagnosed with polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS), caused due to hormonal imbalance in women.
- Excessive smoking
- Irregular patterns of sleep or sleep disorders.
- Having high intake of sugar, refined foods, and carbohydrates.
- Consumption of red and processed meat.
Does prediabetes always lead to diabetes?
Not always but chances are more. Almost all those who suffer from Type 2 diabetes have prediabetes symptoms.
Also, read about: Is diabetes curable or not?
How do I know if I have prediabetes?
There are no specific prediabetes symptoms and signs that signal this borderline case except diagnostic tests that show abnormally higher blood sugar levels.
What are the Prediabetes Symptoms?
Our body is an institution in itself and has some amazing ways to tell you if anything goes wrong. It can give signs and signals to tell if you have prediabetes. Some of the most common prediabetes symptoms could be darkened skin on the back of your armpits, groin, neck, and knuckles.
Other prediabetes symptoms
Given below are prediabetes symptoms which need to be taken seriously. If you experience any of these symptoms of prediabetes, make sure you consult a doctor soon. As you can get a grip on those glucose levels by consulting the doctor at the earliest.
- Increase in thirst
- Frequent trips to the bathroom for urination
- Unexplained tiredness or Fatigue
- Blurry and distorted vision
- Irregular periods or a condition of PCOS
How to manage prediabetes?
The best way to manage pre-diabetes is by making certain lifestyle changes like:
- Reducing excess weight
- Stay physically active
- Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet
- Stop smoking
- Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control
- Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol
Is it important to treat prediabetes?
Yes because prediabetes symptoms may act as a precursor to Type 2 diabetes and may also lead to other complications like diabetic eye diseases (retinopathy), kidney diseases (nephropathy) or nerve damage (neuropathy).
Prediabetes Symptoms: Takeaway
Although experiencing prediabetes symptoms or borderline diabetes is a precursor to the lethal disease of diabetes. Don’t worry, as, with proper medication, exercise and diet and other home remedies for diabetes, it can be slowly reversed.