Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Are You Pre-Diabetic?

The question wasn't intended to scare you but rather to bring you closer to the risks one may have of being pre-diabetic.

What is Pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a medical condition in which the blood sugar levels are elevated beyond normal levels, but they aren't high enough to be classified as having type 2 diabetes. Although not everyone with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes, negligence of the condition will lead to higher chances of you becoming diabetic.

It is very important that you learn about diabetes in its earlier stages as research confirms that many long term complications associated with diabetes such as CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) and nerve damage may begin from the pre-diabetic stage.

Just like type 2 diabetes, a person may suffer from the underlying symptoms without even knowing about it. Hence, it is important to be aware of the risk factors and which screening tests one may need to undergo. This is particularly true if you suffer from pre-diabetes being a part of 'metabolic syndrome'. If you have been enduring high blood pressure levels, have elevated levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) i.e. bad cholesterol and triglycerides, low levels of HDL (high-density lipoproteins) i.e. good cholesterol and a tendency to put on weight around the abdominal region, then you are at risk of being pre-diabetic.

Risk factors may include:

1. Having crossed the age of 40 years.

2. A close relative, parent or sibling diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

3. Belonging to a high risk group of people such as Asians, South American, Hispanic or African descent.

4. Having a family history of insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance.

5. Presence of some diabetes related complications such as eye, nerve or kidney disorders.

6. Having a history of heart disease.

7. Having a medical history of gestational diabetes mellitus.

8. High blood pressure.

9. High cholesterol levels.

10. Having excessive layers of abdominal fat.

Research suggest that control over blood glucose levels in the earlier stages can help lower the chances and even delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. One can easily reduce the chances of developing further complications by making simple lifestyle changes such as increasing the levels of physical activity and eating a low-fat based meal. A reduction of even a small percentage of body weight i.e. even 5 to 10 % of total body weight through eating of healthy foods and following a regular physical activity regime can make a huge difference to your health and lifestyle.

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