Understanding Prediabetes and What it Means to You

Prediabetes Before Diabetes

Most people have heard of diabetes type 2, but what about prediabetes? Knowing more about it can greatly reduce your risk of developing diabetes, which makes it very important. When I had a blood test, my doctor ordered this particular test, which required fasting for about 8 hours, drawing blood, then drinking a sweet drink, followed by another blood draw. The results came back indicating that I was at risk for developing prediabetes, which is a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes. Basically it’s an indication that my blood sugar was higher than the norm, and that led to me being proactive and changing what my future may hold.

So, that entails a lifestyle change or several changes to further delay or completely avoid developing this chronic illness. If you’re like me, then you don’t want a life that involves developing a lifelong disease, that’s a result of the pancreas not producing adequate amounts of insulin. Insulin is actually necessary to the body, helping the cells use the sugar as energy.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of this condition, with about 26 million Americans suffering from it. Insulin is used by the body to turn sugar to energy, but it can stay in the blood instead, leading to high blood sugar levels. So, someone with diabetes has too much sugar in their blood most of the time. Eventually, it affects different parts of the body, like the kidneys, the heart, the eyes, nerves, and more, and it makes them more susceptible to suffering other serious illnesses.

The cause of prediabetes is unknown, although the medical community believes it has to do with people who are generally NOT physically active, or are overweight (or possibly both). I’m generally not so active, but have taken steps to work out more, go for walks, and such.

 Unfortunately for people with prediabetes, there aren’t any symptoms, so only a blood test will reveal this problem. However, if you have a family history of prediabetes, then you are at a greater risk for developing it too. You should, however, look out for symptoms of diabetes, which include feeling thirsty and hungry often, frequent urination, experienced weight loss without trying, or have blurred vision.

How to Treat Prediabetes

Prediabetes is only treated through preventing its progression, with diet and exercise. Focus on losing mid-section weight, which is shedding inches off your waistline. With regards to diet, reduce fatty foods, and opt for those that contain greater fiber. Add more fiber and protein to your diet, while reducing carbohydrates, and of course, stay away from refined foods like white sugar, flour and starchy veggies.

If that’s not enough, the IDF, or International diabetes Federation in Belgium believes there will be a huge increase in type 2 diabetes throughout the world, which will typically affect those aged 40 through 59. This is believed to be caused by lifestyle choices–obesity and lack of physical activity.

By making wise choices, you can avoid other problems, like heart attack or stroke, too. If you’ve been told you’re at a higher risk for developing prediabetes, or diabetes, then it’s crucial that you take your blood sugar readings regularly.