Pre-Diabetes Symptoms – Be Prepared
There are over 40 million people in the United States alone with the condition pre diabetes. If it is ignored, the condition can easily develop into type 2 diabetes. As a result, the scale and seriousness of this issue is very large. Are you overweight, getting older (aren’t we all?), do you smoke, drink too much, do you have high blood pressure, does your job mean you sit at a desk all day? These and other risk factors are all associated with pre diabetes.
The key difference between pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes is that pre diabetes can be reversed, whereas type 2 diabetes can only be managed. It is clear, therefore, that detecting pre diabetes and treating it is vitally important for the long term health of many people. An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to insulin resistance. If this happens, the body produces insulin but is unable to use it properly. Insulin resistance is an underlying cause of pre diabetes. When intervention does happen, the approach is to try to change the person’s lifestyle, from what is usually an unhealthy one, to a healthy one. Not surprisingly, this involves introducing them to a more nutritious diet, and some form of regular physical exercise. On a positive note, this approach is often effective in reversing the process of pre diabetes and keeping it from developing into full blown type 2 diabetes.
A major problem with pre diabetes, and one of the reasons why it is so prevalent, is that there may be no obvious symptoms. Glucose levels in the blood are high, though they are not yet at diabetic levels. This may be detected during routine blood tests, if some form of screening is in place. If you are overweight, and over 45, then you should be tested. Other risk factors that may mean you are pre-disposed to pre diabetes are high blood pressure, a family history of diabetes, and your particular ethnic group.
Testing for pre diabetes will be carried out by your doctor if he feels that you have enough of the associated risk factors. There are two possible tests he may use. The fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and the oral glucose tolerance (OGT) test are both utilized to test for pre diabetes. If you fail either of these tests, the diagnosis is the same. You have pre diabetes, and in order to avoid full type 2 diabetes, you need to improve your diet, and start getting some regular physical exercise.
Whether screening should be carried out for more people is not clear cut. Given that a positive diagnosis of pre diabetes will lead to treatment in the form of changes to one’s lifestyle, it could be argued that people should not need to go through this process if they already know that they have an unhealthy lifestyle, or if it is obvious to a doctor that they do. Whether they have pre diabetes or not, given that they have an unhealthy lifestyle, they need to make those changes regardless of any test results.
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