In our recent podcast, Prediabetes Awareness, we spoke with Dr. Aleem Kanji about the symptoms and causes of prediabetes.
According to the CDC, approximately 96 million American adults, more than 1 in 3, have this condition. More than 80% did not know they have it (CDC).
Not knowing about prediabetes can cause great health risks over time. Creating awareness could help people know the warning signs sooner rather than later. In addition, bringing awareness to this can keep us in tune with our bodies, therefore creating the space for better lifestyle choices.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (CDC).
What are the signs and symptoms?
- Being more thirsty than usual
- Being overweight
- Blurry vision
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome
- Family with type 2 diabetes
- Having had gestational diabetes
Usually, individuals ignore these signs due to some of them can be caused by natural causes such as blurry vision. It is important for you to check with your doctor if you experience any of these signs and symptoms to make sure there isn’t an underlying cause. If your doctor suspects there may be another cause he or she will ask to go through a series of medical tests discussed below to rule out the possibility of prediabetes.
What tests are needed to be considered prediabetic?
There are 3 tests needed to be diagnosed with prediabetes.
- Average Blood Glucose
A blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. An A1C below 5.7% is normal, between 5.7 and 6.4% indicates you have prediabetes, and 6.5% or higher indicates you have diabetes (CDC).
- Fasting Blood Glucose
This test measures your blood sugar after an overnight fast. Fasting blood sugar between 100 to 125 mg/dL indicates having prediabetes (CDC).
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
This measures your blood sugar before and after you drink a liquid that contains glucose. You’ll fast (not eat) overnight before the test and have your blood drawn to determine the fasting blood sugar level.
The test is performed as follows: you’ll drink a liquid and have your blood sugar level checked for 1 hour, 2 hours, and possibly 3 hours afterward. At 2 hours, a blood sugar level of 140 mg/dL or lower is considered normal, 140 to 199 mg/dL indicates you have prediabetes, and 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes (CDC).
Regardless of what test your doctor prescribes you, if you are diagnosed with prediabetes, there are steps you can take to reverse prediabetes which we discuss in the next section.
How to prevent or reverse prediabetes?
First, reversing prediabetes is always going to begin with a lifestyle change. This includes maintaining a healthy weight and having regular physical activity throughout your weekdays.
Other ways you can help prevent prediabetes are;
- Working alongside a lifestyle coach
- Working with a dietitian/ nutritionist to learn about healthy eating
- Finding ways that can help manage stress, such as yoga
- Researching resources and programs that surround you with people with similar goals
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes make sure to get connected with organizations that are approved to provide the CDC’s national diabetes prevention program.One of those organizations is Yumlish. If you need more information on how to get started please click on this link Yumlish and one of our team members will reach out to you and connect you to our program.