World Diabetes Day 2020: All You Need To Know About Prediabetes
World Diabetes Day 2020: This day is observed on 14 November each year to spread awareness about the management of this condition. On the occasion of World Diabetes Day here's everything about prediabeties.
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The number of prediabetes cases is increasing worldwide, and yet, it is one of the most underrated health concerns. It is often perceived as a mild health condition, but we forget that, if not taken it seriously, it puts an increased risk on the health of the individual like diabetes mellitus and complications like heart disease, stroke, and PCOS (in women). But the positive way of looking at prediabetes is that, if taken necessary action to correct it, you can prevent diabetes and lead a healthy life. The choices you make ultimately defines the path you are heading towards.
Understanding prediabetes or borderline diabetes
- An individual is referred to as prediabetic when his,
- Fasting blood glucose is in the range of 110 -125 mg/dl (IFG) or
- Post-prandial blood glucose is in the range of 140 -199 mg/dl (IGT) or
- HbA1C between 5.7-6.4%
This means that the blood sugar levels are certainly above normal range, yet not significantly high enough to be classified as diabetes.
The root cause of prediabetes is said to be higher insulin resistance, a condition when insulin is resisted by the body cells, so that the insulin is unable to carry out its metabolic functions. Thus, higher insulin resistance leads to glucose build up in the blood that eventually predisposes to pre-diabetes.
There could be multiple causes for prediabetes, such as obesity, age (above 45 years), family history, metabolic syndrome, unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical inactivity, and constant stress.
Also read: Diabetes-Friendly Snacks
Early signs of Prediabetes:
Prediabetes goes unnoticed, so watch out for early signs such as:
- Excessive thirst and or/hunger
- Unexplained weight loss/gain
- Frequent Urination
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Frequent urinary tract infections in women
Additionally, you need to be extra careful if your waistline is larger than 40 inches around the waist, if you're a man and larger than 35 inches if you're a woman or if you've had gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, see a diabetologist at the earliest. You may need to undergo some commonly recommended laboratory tests such as HbA1c, fasting blood sugar (FBS), fasting insulin levels, post-prandial blood glucose (PPBS), oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), etc. to confirm your prediabetic state.
Everyday life as a Prediabetic:
By adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can help reverse the situation! A corrected diet, along with physical activity, getting enough sleep, improving BMI, and better stress management- will together help to get your health back on track.
1. Dietary Changes:
Follow a well-balanced diet. Reduce the consumption of carbohydrates and compensate it with healthy fats. Make sure it is rich in micro-nutrients and vitamins.
Follow a smaller eating window and avoid snacking in between. It will lead to fewer insulin spikes, which is good for your body.
Include foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties your diet, such as berries, dark chocolate, turmeric, black pepper, etc.
2. Physical Activity:
Getting adequate physical activity will help you in managing better BMI and improving insulin sensitivity.
Make sure to involve yourself in 30-45 minutes of physical activity for 5 days a week.
You can choose your fitness routine from various activities like brisk walking, resistance training, aerobic exercises, or yoga.
3. Sleep and Stress Management:
Ensure that you get to sleep for at least 7-8 hours every day as it brings the hormonal balance in the body.
Stay calm and manage your stress levels with the help of breathing exercises and meditation.
A prediabetic state doesn't require any active treatment with medication. It can be reversed comfortably through lifestyle modifications. So, take charge of your life and focus on smaller habits that will have significant and long-lasting positive impacts on your health.
(Dr. Neelkanth Kote, Medical Advisor & Consultant Diabetologist, AltLife)
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