Are You Pre-Diabetic or Borderline Diabetic?
While diabetes is classified as a life-long metabolism disorder characterized by very high levels of glucose in the blood, prediabetes or borderline diabetes is the early stage in the development of type II diabetes. People suffering from this condition, also known as impaired glucose tolerance, have a blood glucose level that is higher than normal but not high enough for them to be treated for type II diabetes. Prediabetes usually does not have any clear symptoms and it can therefore go unnoticed and untreated. Thus, it is important to understand whether you are pre-diabetic or borderline diabetic. Want to know why? Read on...
If an individual’s blood sugar level remains above the normal limit for an extended period, prediabetes can turn into type II diabetes. Research conducted by the American Diabetes Association shows that even during the early stages in the development of type II diabetes or the prediabetes stage, an individual can suffer from long term damage to the body. The heart and circulatory system especially are vulnerable during this condition.
Both diabetes and prediabetes can occur at any age and due precaution should be taken by people across age groups and ethnicities. There are, however, certain factors that lead to an increased risk of developing this condition. These factors include a genetic predisposition such as a family history of pre-diabetes or type II diabetes, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in women, metabolic syndrome in men and women, obesity or a Body Mass Index higher than 25, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides etc.
All adults above the age of 45 should consider getting tested for diabetes or prediabetes, especially if they are overweight or suffer from any of the other risk factors associated with diabetes. Healthy individuals above the age of 45 that do not suffer from any of the risk factors associated with diabetes can consult their doctor before getting themselves tested. Younger individuals also can get themselves tested in consultation with a doctor to ensure that the condition does not go unnoticed and gets timely treatment. Retesting can be done every 3 years in-case of normal blood glucose levels and should be carried out every year in-case of a prediabetes diagnosis.
Maintaining a nutritious and balanced diet goes a long way in helping an individual keep the condition under control and prevent prediabtetes from developing into type II diabetes. A balanced diet should consist of an adequate amount of fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses, whole grains and good fats. Cooking oils high in MUFA or monounsaturated fats are recommended as these fatty acids control the development of cholesterol and also have a positive impact on diabetes. Food items like oats, papaya, apples, beans, broccoli, pulses with their husk and sprouts should also be consumed. Positive lifestyle changes such as following a regular exercise regime through the week and reducing alcohol consumption also help in keeping a check on the condition.
To wrap it all up, do note that this condition is reversible and the development of type II diabetes can be stalled, it is imperative to treat it in time in consultation with a doctor.
This post was complied with expert inputs from Dr. Rekha Sharma - President, Indian Dietetic Association and Director - Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Diabetes Foundation.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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