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Prediabetes – Understanding the not-so subtle signs

According to American Diabetes Association, prediabetic or borderline diabetic refers to an individual with blood glucose levels too high to be considered normal but not high enough to meet the criteria for diabetes – fasting blood glucose in the range of 100-125 mg/dl or HbA1C between 5.7-6.4 %.

Potential Causes of Prediabetes

Prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Hence it becomes imperative to understand the causes of prediabetes. Here are some of the known causes –
  • Family history: According to research published in Diabetologia, a family history of diabetes increases the risk of prediabetes by 26%, even in non-obese individuals. 
  • Metabolic syndrome: Risk of developing type 2 diabetes has a strong correlation with metabolic syndrome in young adults (aged 20-39 years). 
  • Unhealthy and processed foods: Diet plays a vital role as it has the maximum impact on our health. Bad carbs (refined and processed carbs) and unhealthy fats have a direct bearing on insulin resistance. 
  • Physical inactivity: A sedentary lifestyle with low physical activity is one of the key drivers of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Other conditions like gestational diabetes, heart disease, hypertension or high cholesterol can also lead to prediabetes. 

Health Risk

Without any lifestyle intervention, there is an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 years of getting diagnosed with prediabetes.

Early Warnings for Potential Diabetics

Prediabetes is the silent precursor for type 2 diabetes. Acting upon early warnings of prediabetes can help prevent or delay the diagnosis of full-blown diabetes. Given below are some of these early signsthat might require an individual to see a diabetologist:

  • Excessive thirst and/or hunger
  • Unexpected weight loss/gain
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision

Key Takeaway

Getting diagnosed with prediabetes could feel like a double whammy- managing prediabetes & avoiding the onset of type 2 diabetes. However, with timely medical intervention supported by a healthy diet, regular exercise, & encouragement from loved ones, one can beat the condition before it aggravates.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog, or any linked materials, are not intended & should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult a certified healthcare professional in case of a medical concern.

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