By Dr. Varun Gupta
Prediabetes is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Prediabetes means having blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal but are not high enough to be called diabetes. Detecting and managing prediabetes early can help in delaying and preventing type 2 diabetes
Who is at risk of prediabetes?
Your risk of getting prediabetes increases if you:
- Are 45 or older
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Are overweight
- Have High blood pressure or cholesterol
- Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)
How is it detected?
There may be no symptoms at all. Some people may have symptoms of diabetes like excessive thirst, excessive hunger, frequent urination, blurred vision, extreme fatigue, tingling/numbness in hands and feet. Prediabetes is usually detected by blood tests.
Results indicating prediabetes are:
- Glycated hemoglobin HbA1c of 5.7% – 6.4%
- Fasting blood glucose of 100 – 125 mg/dl
- An OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) 2 hour blood glucose of 140 mg/dl – 199 mg/dl
How can type 2 diabetes be prevented/delayed?
You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early management can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Even if you do not reach your ideal weight, losing even 7% of your total weight can help you a lot.
- Walk briskly for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
- Be more active throughout the day
- Park your car further from the store, opt for stairs instead of the elevator
- Follow a healthy well balanced diet plan
- Restrict your calorie intake and saturated fat content
- Start your meals with a salad of leafy greens/fresh fruits. Salad provides nutrients and fills you up.
- If you have prediabetes, get your blood tests done regularly as per your doctor’s advice