Pre diabetes is a metabolic condition and growing global problem that is closely tied to obesity. If undiagnosed or untreated, pre-diabetes develops into type 2 diabetes; which whilst treatable is currently not fully reversible. The increasing number of new cases of prediabetes presents a global concern as it carries large scale implications towards the future burden on healthcare.
What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is almost always a precursor to the development of type 2 diabetes. It is characterised by the presence of higher than normal blood glucose levels that are yet to reach diabetic levels. The scale of the problem is enormous and growing, as Western society and diet becomes more pervasive. In the UK, the prevalence of prediabetes is estimated at 7 million people.
Guides specific to prediabetes:
- Tests for prediabetes
- Prediabetes FAQs
- Prediabetes risk factors
Closely linked with prediabetes:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Impaired fasting glycemia
- Impaired glucose tolerance
Pre-diabetes is also a critical stage, for it is at this point that sufferers still have the lifestyle choices to turn their condition around. Early, decisive action can slow down or even halt the development of type 2 diabetes. One of the most insidious aspects of pre-diabetes is the fact that the sufferer often does not know that they have the condition until type 2 diabetes has developed.
How do I know if I have pre-diabetes?
Depending on your ethnic origin, you may be more or less at risk of having pre-diabetes. Although pre-diabetes may affect anyone, of any age, gender or racial type, some groups are genetically more prone. These include Afro-Caribbean, South Asian and Native Americans. Diabetes is a global problem.
Oral glucose tolerance test
The only certainty that you have the condition can be found at your doctor. He can administer one of two tests that will assess whether you have pre-diabetes. These tests are called the FPG (fasting plasma glucose test) and the OGTT - oral glucose tolerance test. If you fail the FPG test, you have impaired fasting glucose. If you fail the OGTT then you have impaired glucose tolerance. Either way, in this instance your doctor should then clearly set out the movement you have to take to lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
There are several factors that are generally present in Pre-Diabetics. If you are overweight and over the age of 45 you should be tested. Related risk factors include high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides. If your family has a history of diabetes, or gestational diabetes, or you have given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds you may also be more at risk.
What are the symptoms of pre-diabetes?
The reason why so many people suffer from pre-diabetes and are completely unaware of it is because it is quite possible for no symptoms to manifest themselves. Both diabetes and pre-diabetes develop at a gradual rate. Being aware of the symptoms of diabetes may be able to help you.
- if you have been newly diagnosed with diabetes
How do I stop pre-diabetes developing into Type 2 Diabetes?
The good news may be that, if you have become aware of the disease early, your condition can still be cured. The two principle factors for consideration are the changing of diet and the addition of appropriate physical exercise to your lifestyle. By making these changes, it may be possible to return blood sugar levels to normal. Pre-diabetes is a serious medical condition that can be treated. The good news is that the recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program study conclusively showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity.
They may even be able to return their blood glucose levels to the normal range.
More information about diet and nutrition:
- Exercise for Diabetics
- Diabetes Nutrition
- Food and Diet
But for a comprehensive and individual plan you should see your doctor.
Will my insurance cover me for pre-diabetes?
All insurance plans are different, so check your terms and conditions. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional about the specifics of your insurance cover. If you require diabetic insurance please see the following sites:
- Diabetic Life
- Diabetic Travel