Prediabetes is a condition wherein your blood glucose or blood sugar levels are higher than normal. However, the high sugar levels associated with it may not be enough to be considered as diabetes. If you have prediabetes, the symptoms that you experience are the same with diabetes. You might think that it is okay not to worry when you have it, but what you have to take note is that this condition puts you at risk of developing a much more serious condition which is Type 2 Diabetes and even other health-related problems such stroke.
Symptoms of Prediabetes
- Blurry vision – When you have prediabetes, you may notice some changes in your vision such as blurredness and decrease of ability to focus on a subject. However, once your blood sugar goes back to normal, blurred vision also diminishes and eventually goes away.
- Increased thirst and frequent urination – Thirstiness and frequent urination are one of the most common signs of prediabetes. This is because of the fact that your body responses to the surplus sugar in your blood, making your body attempt to flush the excess into the urine and making you eventually dehydrated.
- Fatigue – Because your body needs blood sugar in order to provide energy, you have to keep it normal. However, your blood sugar may not be working properly if you have prediabetes. This leads to insulin resistance and decrease of ability to make your body perform more tasks.
- Presence of wounds or infections – When your blood sugar is high, there is also a slow skin repair process because it is the time when your body experiences slow blood circulation. This may lead to developing minor cuts and bruises. This may also encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi which are a threat to developing an infection.
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss – A sudden change in your weight may be a sign of prediabetes because of the abnormality with the way your body resists insulin. Insulin resistance can make you crave more foods which cause you weight gain. On the other hand, Prediabetes may lead you to weight loss when your body fails to get the energy it needs from blood glucose and starts to burn other things in your system.
How to Prevent Prediabetes
- Losing weight through healthy eating – One of the common risk factors that lead to the development of prediabetes is an overweight body. In order to combat prediabetes, you need to maintain a normal weight. Resort to a healthier diet by limiting portion sizes, cutting back calorie and carb-loaded foods, and avoiding foods that have a high amount of fats and sugar. Opting for fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein may also be a good idea to prevent prediabetes.
- Make exercise part of your routine – Following an active lifestyle can never go wrong. Exercising daily will not only prevent you from developing prediabetes but it will also prevent other conditions to arise such as cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Make exercise a priory. Take walks every day and perform cardio exercises or any other forms of exercise to keep your body moving and to also take away your stress.
- Quit smoking – Studies show that a person who smokes may also be at risk for prediabetes. In fact, 30% to 40% of people who smoke are also more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes. The sooner you quit the habit of smoking, the fewer chances you get in developing prediabetes.
- Get a regular checkup with your physician – To be able to be informed about the status of your blood glucose level and your overall condition, you need to visit your physician more often. Remember that early detection of blood sugar changes can make you become aware and motivated to follow a healthier and ideal lifestyle.
- Lower your stress – It is good to stay away from stressors which are one of the causes of developing any types of diseases. Take time to meditate and get enough sleep. Doing Yoga are performing Pilates are also great stress-reducing techniques to combat prediabetes,
Remember that it is more important to keep yourself away from prediabetes before you see it coming rather than letting it develop and give you a hard time to control and cure it. Prevention, after all, is better than cure.
You suspect you have an increased blood sugar level. How will you know if you think you are right? There are various ways to know if your blood sugar levels rise or if you have a prediabetes condition. Prediabetes is considered as a warning sign or a pre-diagnosis if your blood glucose level is higher than the normal range. In prediabetes, your blood sugar may be high but it is not high enough to be diagnosed as full-blown diabetes. However, having a prediabetes still means that you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep yourself away from progressing your condition into diabetes, specifically Type 2 Diabetes. Prediabetes may also lead you to other health problems aside from diabetes such as stroke and heart diseases.
Is prediabetes reversible? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this condition can be reversed as long as you stick to your treatment regimen which includes following a healthy diet, doing exercises on a regular basis, and taking your medications religiously. If you have prediabetes and you do not make lifestyle changes, then you are more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes within 10 years.
When diagnosing diabetes, you can expect the test to be performed in a health care setting such as a laboratory or doctor’s office. Should your physician tells you that your blood sugar level is high or if you have symptoms that are considered signs of diabetes, then your physician may confirm you have diabetes and may not advise you to undergo another test. The following are the tests that are normally done in determining whether you have diabetes or not:
- A1C Test – A1C test, otherwise known as glycohemoglobin test, is a primary diagnostic test used for managing diabetes. It is a type of test that determines the person’s average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. What makes this diagnostic test a much preferable option is the fact that you do not need to undergo fasting or drink something. To diagnose prediabetes, your result should fall into 7% to 6.4%. If the level reads 6.5% and exceeds higher, then that’s the time when the physician rules out diabetes.
- Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) – This test is one of the common and mostly performed tests performed by the physician to determine prediabetes or diabetes. In this test, one should fast before a blood test is taken. It means that you do not have to eat or drink anything except water for at least eight hours prior to the test. Usually, this test is performed early in the morning before you take your breakfast. In this test, you can be diagnosed with diabetes when you FPG result confirms that your fasting blood glucose is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl. A fasting blood glucose level that falls between 100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl is considered prediabetes.
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – This is the type of diagnostic test that requires you to drink a special sweet drink two hours prior to the test. This is to determine how your body processes and reacts to glucose. If you have a 2-hour blood glucose level that is greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl, then you may have diabetes. If your blood glucose level falls from 140 mg/dl to 199 mg/dl, however, then you are still in a prediabetic stage.
- Random Plasma Glucose Test – Random Plasma Glucose Test, also known as Casual Plasma Glucose Test or Random Blood Sugar Test, is a type of test that is performed by drawing a small amount of your blood at any time of the day. Your physician may confirm that you are diabetic when your blood sugar result is greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl.
- Others – Other diabetic tests include dilated eye examination wherein your eye health will be assessed in order to determine early signs of retinopathy. A foot examination may also be ideal in order to detect blood circulations or infections and sores which are crucial to diabetes.
When your blood sugar level is higher than normal but does not reach the level where you are considered to have Type 2 Diabetes, then you are prediabetic. Some people who have this condition think that it is okay not to worry too much. When you have prediabetes, you still have to be aware of the importance of controlling your blood sugar and consider it a warning sign because it could rise and may even lead you to develop Type 2 Diabetes. If you do not make some changes in your lifestyle, then your prediabetic condition may progress.
Symptoms of Prediabetes
You may not experience noticeable symptoms right away when you have prediabetes. However, you may experience the following when you are in the early stages:
- Increased hunger
- Increased thirst
- Weight loss despite good appetite
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
Causes of Prediabetes
Insulin, a hormone which is secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas, is responsible for transporting an energy carrying source called glucose into the cells through the bloodstream. In a prediabetes condition, the person’s body does not produce enough insulin to have the energy. It may also be because of the body’s misuse of the insulin. The latter is known as insulin resistance. Now when you have either of these insulin incapacities, your body’s glucose level may gradually increase which may lead you to prediabetes.
- Overweight – When you have more tissues in your body, then your cells hardly resist the insulin. These days, the number of prediabetes continues to increase and this number is mostly related to overweight and obesity.
- Family history – If you have a parent or a sibling that has Diabetes, then you are more likely to develop this condition if you do not keep track of your blood sugar levels.
- Dietary factors – People who don’t consume more Vitamin D are noted to be more at risk for prediabetes. Another dietary factor that can lead to prediabetes is early exposure to the milk of the cow or cow’s milk formula. A more important factor, in addition, is eating a lot of carbohydrates-loaded foods from time to time.
- Physical inactivity – A person who doesn’t move a lot and spend time doing activities that may improve his or her physical activity may also likely develop prediabetes. Not only that. It may also lead to other diseases such cardiovascular problems.
- Age – The more you age, the more likely you will develop diseases. This is because of the less amount of the body’s ability to dodge illnesses. As you age, your amount of energy also decreases which can affect your blood sugar level.
- Race and ethnicity – Studies show that there are certain races and ethnic groups that experience prediabetes more compared to others. Such ethnicities include Hispanic Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans.
- Diabetes while pregnant – When a woman develops Diabetes while she is pregnant, the condition is known as gestational diabetes. This condition is noted to be one of the risk factors that may lead to prediabetes and worse, Type 2 Diabetes.
How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
The important thing that you need to remember is to avoid the mentioned risk factors above. However, some of them cannot be prevented, like age, race, and family history. That’s why you need to follow a healthy habit every day to prevent yourself from developing the next level of diabetes. This daily habit includes:
- Exercising every day – Always make time for your exercise routine. Keep an active lifestyle by spending some time to do mild walks, stretching exercises, and taking the stairs instead of elevators.
- Keeping an eye of your diet – Remember to just take light meals and resort to portion control. This will prevent you from increasing your blood glucose levels.
- Maintain your weight – Because obesity is one of the factors of Type 2 Diabetes, always check your weight—if it progresses or remains the same. When you gain weight, that’s the time when you have to do more effort to lower it, like exercising and paying more attention to your diet.
- Have a regular check-up with your physician – There is no easy way to prevent Type 2 Diabetes than to have your blood glucose regularly monitored by your physician. This will give you an idea about the status of your condition.
- Get enough sleep – Make sleep a priority When you don’t get enough sleep, losing weight will also be a lot harder. It also makes it difficult for your body to effectively use insulin. Take time to relax your body before you switch your light off. Also, avoid consuming caffeine before you go to sleep as this will just give you a hard time to fall asleep.
Managing Diabetes is quite a challenge especially when holidays and special occasions such as Thanksgiving comes. With all the palatable and delicious foods that have the ability to tempt you and ruin your usual diabetic diet, it isn’t easy to say no when they are just everywhere. People with Diabetes believe that they cannot eat the foods that they want during this occasion. This is not true. You can still indulge, but there are things that you need to remember in order to enjoy the holiday and keep your blood sugar level at bay all at the same time.
Don’t skip meals before going to a Thanksgiving feast.
Skipping meals to save up for a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner will make it harder for you to resist the temptation of eating more and more. This may result to overindulging and overeating.
Opt for healthier foods and cut back on carbs.
It isn’t easy to stick to your meal plan when foods are all around the corner, waiting to be devoured. You can manage this by opting for healthier meals instead of giving in to heavy foods that ae loaded with carbs. Start with vegetables or fruits to prevent your appetite from stimulating.
Practice portion control when eating your favorite foods.
You can expect a variety of foods around the table during a holiday but remember that it is good to just stick to your favorite foods and indulge in small servings. For example, if your favorite food Spaghetti is served, choose it instead of including pecan pie, cranberry, mashed potatoes, and several other foods on your plate.
Keep your focus on your family and friends.
Thanksgiving is a time to reunite and bond with your family and friends. Remember that this occasion is not entirely just about foods, so it is important to keep yourself focused mainly on your loved ones. Have fun, play games with them, and spend time talking about things with them. This will give your mind an opportunity to stay pre-occupied away from eating.
Go back to your dietary plan when you accidentally overindulge.
Mistakes happen especially when you just can’t resist the foods that are being served. When this instance happens, forgive yourself and give yourself a chance to start all over again. Don’t let overeating cause you to get discouraged and just let a new unhealthy diet take place. Get back to your usual dietary plan and start motivating yourself to maintain it.
Limit your alcohol intake.
While there are lots of foods during Thanksgiving, there are also plenty of wines and beers that are difficult to say no to. You can actually drink during this occasion. Just make sure that you are not exceeding the limit. Keep your alcohol amount in check. Do not drink while your stomach is empty. Alcohol is known to interact Diabetes medications so it’s better to keep it at a minimum.
Keep an active lifestyle.
Holidays should never be a reason for you to forget your exercise routine. Thanksgiving is the time of the year where you should remain active because of the extra calories that you consume. Spend time with your family walking after the dinner. This way, you can shed off those unnecessary calories, make up for your eating, and get to control your blood sugar level, too. After Thanksgiving, spend more time walking in order to get back to your usual active lifestyle.
Get Yourself Enough Sleep
Thanksgiving and any other occasions tend to keep you awake most of the time because of the activities that you take part to. Remember that not sleeping enough makes it harder to control your blood sugar level. It also makes you crave more foods that are high in carbs and fats, so be sure to get yourself enough sleep—at least eight hours per night, once Thanksgiving is over.
Monitor your blood glucose levels
It is important to keep track on your blood glucose level in order to help you understand how the foods you consume affect your sugar level. This will also help you get back to your healthy lifestyle and encourage you to maintain it.