Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

Iwe think about a traffic signal, the green light means you are non-diabetic, the red light means you are diabetic and the amber light means you are pre-diabetic, you are on the verge to turn towards diabetes if you do not make the necessary lifestyle changes. It is the ‘Laxman Rekha’, which we should not cross, or else the demon of diabetes is waiting for us just a step ahead.

According to a survey, approximately 14% means, 100 million+ Indian adults have prediabetes. Of these, more than 80% don’t know they have it. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

What sugar levels indicate Pre-diabetes?

What are the Causes of Prediabetes?

Insulin is a hormone made by the beta cells of your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into cells for use as energy. Prediabetes usually occurs in people who already have some insulin resistance or whose beta cells in the pancreas do not make enough insulin to keep blood glucose in the normal range. Without enough insulin, extra glucose stays in your bloodstream rather than entering your cells. Over time, you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Pre-diabetes ?

Going unnoticed for years is the specialty of Pre-diabetes, as it may not give you any signs or symptoms or they may be such that we neglect those signs. This is the major factor where we need to be more aware and cautious because most of them only become aware after they have already crossed the amber signal and stepped towards the type 2 diabetes journey. But, even if you find it as soon as you have crossed the ‘Laxman Rekha’, we can apply the brakes and come to normal levels.

Some people with prediabetes may have darkened skin in the armpit or on the back and sides of the neck, or their groin area, this is a condition called acanthosis nigricans. Many small skin growths called skin tags often appear in these same areas.

Few research studies have shown that some people with prediabetes may already have early changes in their eyes that can lead to retinopathy. This problem more often occurs in people with diabetes.

What are the risk factors ?

  • Being overweight
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Being physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Having PCOS
  • Race and ethnicity are also a factor: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk.

How do I prevent Pre-diabetes

  • Keeping the fat percentage and BMI within a healthy range.
  • Regular physical activity, at least 150 minutes per week
  • Keeping a positive attitude
  • Sound sleep for at least 6 to 7 hours following the circadian system.
  • Eat healthy foods, including lots of fruits and veggies.
  • Drink more water and fewer sugary drinks.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Getting your sugar levels checked at least twice a year if you are at risk of developing pre-diabetes and once a year even if you do not fall in the category of high risk!!

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