Pre-diabetes is a medical condition, in which blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classified as type-2 diabetes. Without intervention, it is likely to become type-2 diabetes in 10 years or less.
Pre-diabetes can be an opportunity for one to improve one’s health. However, its progression to type-2 diabetes isn’t inevitable if effective intervention is instituted.
According to American Diabetes Association, the following are considered to be its risk factors, if one:
• Is above 45 years.
• Has BMI (body mass index) above 25.
• Is inactive.
• Has a family history of type-2 diabetes.
• Is African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian-American or a Pacific Islander.
• Is an Asian as Asian counties contribute largely to the prevalence of pre-diabetes.
• Has a history of gestational diabetes or have given birth to a baby, who weighed more than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms).
• Has a history of polycystic ovary syndrome.
• Has high blood pressure.
• Has an abnormal cholesterol level, including high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels below 35 mg/dL or a triglyceride level above 250 mg/dL.
Diagnosis of pre-diabetes –
The following tests are performed to confirm the diagnosis of pre-diabetes:
Fasting blood glucose test –
A blood sample will be taken after fasting for at least eight hours or overnight and blood sugar level is tested.
A blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered pre-diabetes. This is sometimes referred to as impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
Oral glucose tolerance test –
A blood sample will be taken after fasting for at least eight hours or overnight. Then one will drink a sugary solution, and blood sugar level will be measured again after two hours.
A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL is normal. A blood sugar level from 140 to 199 mg/dL is considered pre-diabetes. This is sometimes referred to as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) test –
This blood test indicates average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.
A normal HbA1C should be below 5.7 percent. The HbA1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered pre-diabetes.
Certain conditions such as pregnancy or an uncommon form of hemoglobin (known as a hemoglobin variant) can make the HbA1C test inaccurate.
Though the exact cause of pre-diabetes is unknown, its contributors are as follows:
• Family history of type-2 diabetes
• Genetics – some genes related to insulin resistance have been discovered by the researchers.
• Excess fat especially abdominal fat
• Physical inactivity
Ways to keep it from becoming type-2 diabetes –
Lose weight – Losing just 7% of body weight (that’s 10.5 pounds for a 150 pounds person) helps people reduce diabetes risk by 58%.
Do more exercise – Exercise regularly by aiming for at least 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week and weight training twice a week.
Change diet – By being sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need and sticking to small portion sizes and eating regularly scheduled meals, you can avoid high blood sugar.
Reduce stress – A stressed system pumps out hormones that increase blood sugar. Strive for calm by meditation or ways that work best for you.
Have regular sleeps daily – Deprivation of sleep derails the metabolism. People who clocked less than 6 hours a weeknight for 6 years are more than four times likelier to see their blood sugar climb into pre-diabetes territory. Those who got 4-5 hours of sleep for just four days become more insulin resistant, setting up the stage for high blood sugar.
Have periodic blood tests – One should have one’s blood tested periodically for blood sugar and HbA1C on a regular basis so that one can know when to take stringent measures for its control.
The bottom line is that pre-diabetes is most likely to progress to a full-blown type-2 diabetes, if adequate preventive measure are not taken. Since type-2 diabetes has already reached epidemic proportions all over the world, pre-diabetes, if not checked in time, will further deteriorate the worsening global situation of prevalence of type-2 diabetes.