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Prediabetes: Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Prediabetes: Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

What does prediabetes mean?

Prediabetes is a condition where the blood sugar level is higher than the normal , but is not high enough to get diagnosed as diabetes. Based on a recent study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, 14% of the Indian population is predisposed to diabetes. Prediabetes in a person can increase the risks of developing Type 2 diabetes,heart diseases and stroke.

Type-2 Diabetes

What are the other names of prediabetes?

  • IGT (Impaired glucose tolerance) – where sugar is higher than normal after a meal.
  • IFG (Impaired fasting glucose) – where sugar is higher than normal before eating in the morning .
  • Level of hemoglobin A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent.

 

What are the symptoms of prediabetes?

Prediabetes often goes undetected until any serious health issue occurs as the symptoms of prediabetes are not evident. It is always advised to get blood sugar tested if any one of these are present:

  • Overweight
  • Age above 45 years
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Restricted physical activity
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Increasing thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Frequent urination at night

What is the range for prediabetes?

  • A person is said to have a normal sugar level when the blood sugar level is less than 140 mg / dL (7.8 mmol/L).
  • A person suspected to be prediabetic has blood sugar levels ranging from 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol/L) and
  • When the blood sugar levels range 200 mg/dL (11.1mmol/L ) or higher ,it indicates type 2 diabetes in a person.

What are the warning signs of prediabetes?

The most possible sign a prediabetic can show is having dark skin patches on certain parts of the body such as knuckles, elbows,armpits and neck. A prediabetic is suspected to have moved to type 2 diabetes when there is :

  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst

 

Can prediabetes be reversed?

Based on a study conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , prediabetes can be reversed if treated at the right time. The treatment of prediabetes can be

  •  Making modifications lifestyle ,
  •  Having a healthy and a nutritious diet ,
  •  Regular exercise and 
  • Taking medications properly.

If a diagnosed prediabetic person does not take precautions then the person can develop type 2 diabetes within a span of 10 years.

What should you eat if you are prediabetic?

A prediabetic person’s diet should comprise of:

  • Vegetables : Vegetables should be consumed in majority as the plant based fiber occupies the majority of nutrition without raising blood sugars.
  • Non starchy vegetables : Starchy vegetables contain  more carbohydrates than the non starchy ones.
  • Fruits as snacks: Having plant based sweets such as fruits as snacks. Fruits are filled with vitamins, minerals and fibers. 
  • Whole Grains: Choosing whole grains as they have more fiber and nutrients.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Having nuts and seeds in the right quantity is beneficial for the body.
  • Proteins: Including the appropriate size of proteins in the diet as it helps in keeping the blood sugars steady.
  • Limited sugars: Artificial sweeteners or sugary drinks to be avoided completely as it may affect the blood sugar levels highly in  a prediabetic.

How should a prediabetic change his lifestyle?

  • If a prediabetic loses a small amount of weight or if you’re overweight and getting regular physical activity, then it can lower the risk for developing type 2 diabetes in a person.
  •  A small amount of weight loss means around 7% of your body weight. Regular physical activity of  at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walk or a similar activity should be followed for half an hour and five days in a week.
  • Other lifestyle modifications like getting enough sleep, following a strict meal schedule, intake of more fibre food, stopping smoking and alcohol prevents and arrest the progression of prediabetes.

To spread awareness about Prediabetes and flatten the curve of diabetes, renowned experts and doctors in the field of Endocrinology & Diabetology will come together to mark a first-time global event on August 14 as World Prediabetes Day.

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