Prediabetes is a condition in which an individual’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. It is considered as a “warning sign” that diabetes is likely to develop in the future. Prediabetes is also referred to as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose. It is estimated that one in three American adults have prediabetes and most of them don’t even know it.
Symptoms of Prediabetes
Symptoms of prediabetes include frequent urination, increased thirst, and fatigue. However, in many cases, there are no symptoms at all. This is why it is often referred to as a “silent disease.” It is important to note that prediabetes can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and even blindness if left untreated.
Prediabetes is usually diagnosed through a blood test called the A1C test. The test measures the average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. A result of 5.7% to 6.4% on the A1C test is considered prediabetes, while a result of 6.5% or higher is considered diabetes.
The good news is that prediabetes is preventable and reversible. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular physical activity can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Treatment for Prediabetes
Treatment for prediabetes typically involves lifestyle changes such as:
Eating a healthy diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and added sugars.
Losing weight if you are overweight or obese. Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Engaging in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Quitting smoking, if you are a smoker.
Medications may also be prescribed for individuals with prediabetes. These medications can help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Some of the medications used to treat prediabetes include metformin, thiazolidinediones, and GLP-1 receptor agonists.
In addition, prediabetes should be monitored regularly. Those who have been diagnosed with prediabetes should have their blood sugar levels checked at least once a year to monitor for any changes.
In conclusion, prediabetes is a silent disease that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. However, it is preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, losing weight, and engaging in regular physical activity. Medications may also be prescribed to help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Regular monitoring is also important for individuals with prediabetes to ensure that their condition does not progress to type 2 diabetes.