Tag Archives: prediabetes

Prediabetes – Nature’s Warning Label

Prediabetes is a health condition whereby a person’s blood-sugar levels are chronically elevated higher than normal, but not yet quite in the zone of diabetes. It is startlingly common in the United States, affecting approximately 1 in 3 American adults. Unfortunately, many people don’t take prediabetes seriously, which may be one of the foremost contributing factors to the extraordinarily high number of Americans who go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

What are the Symptoms of Prediabetes?

Some people don’t experience any symptoms even though their blood-sugars are elevated, while others seek medical attention because they begin having some of the early symptoms of diabetes such as increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision or fatigue. Whether or not the person is having symptoms, elevated sugars are enough cause for concern to start acting upon.

Can Prediabetes Lead To All Types of Diabetes?

No, prediabetes only leads to type 2 diabetes (and may have a correlation with gestational diabetes as well), but it cannot lead to Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition whereby the body attacks the pancreas, causing problems with insulin production. Type 1 has no prerequisite and cannot be prevented, whereas type 2 can most often be prevented by making healthier lifestyle alterations such as exercising more, quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol consumption and adhering to a healthy diet.

The Heated Prediabetes Debate

There is a moderately large camp of medical professionals standing in opposition to prediabetes awareness campaigns, viewing the term as rash, overzealous and responsible for unnecessary testing. These doctors believe a diagnosis of prediabetes alarms people more than helps them. To this sentiment, Ann Albright, the CDC’s director of the Division of Diabetes has rebutted, “Our major message is to use this as a warning, not to frighten people. It’s just not an option to stand by and watch millions of people march to diabetes.” Most medical professionals seem to err on the side of the CDC, looking at a prediabetes screening as a good way to set people down a better path of self-care so as to avoid a bigger health problem down the line.

Why You Should Take Prediabetes Seriously

Prediabetes can be a direct precursor to type 2 diabetes, a life-threatening and often debilitating disease that can cause kidney failure, loss of limbs, cardiovascular complications and more. Being that type 1 and 2 diabetes are collectively the 7th leading cause of death in the united states, it is important to take a diagnosis of prediabetes seriously so you can positively change the trajectory of your future before type 2 diabetes takes a hold of your life.

Time to Answer the Wake-up Call

If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, look at it as a second chance to get your health on track before you head down the harrowing path of no return to full-on diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes or suspect you may have it, check out some of our diabetes prevention tips, and talk to your doctor about a personalized lifestyle action plan to help you turn your health around before it becomes too difficult to do so!

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Type 2 Diabetes – Know Your Risk

Type 2 diabetes is all-too common these days. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, more than 24 million Americans are afflicted with diabetes, but approximately 6 million are currently undiagnosed. Furthermore, over 57 million adults have prediabetes. Diabetes accounts for over 70,000 deaths annually, making it the seventh leading cause of death in the country.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes results when the immune system goes on the fritz and attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, this type is typically inherited and present at an early age. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body stops producing enough insulin to sustain it, or the body can’t use the insulin the pancreas does produce (insulin resistance). This happens over time when the body slowly stops responding to insulin signals, so insulin production rises and rises, in turn the blood-sugar levels also dangerously rise.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

While many people may have a genetic predisposition to disease, up to 90% of cases are preventable by keeping a healthy weight, not smoking or drinking too much, eating healthy and exercising regularly. Most often the gradual resistance to insulin that results in diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors such as poor diet, inactivity, and smoking.

Complications of Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to death by diabetic comas for those who do not have their disease under control. Diabetes is also the number one cause of kidney failure as well as a key contributor to blindness among American adults. It can also lead to nerve damage or even limb loss. Diabetes often goes hand-in-hand with cardiovascular disease as well, as both conditions are exacerbated by high blood pressure.

Other Risk Factors

According to the CDC, aside from diet, activity level and smoking, other risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Age: People over 45 years of age are more likely to develop diabetes.
  • Genetics: Having a close family member with the disease drastically increases your odds.
  • Ethnicity: People of African American, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic American or Asian American are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • Having had gestational diabetes or having given birth to a baby weighting over 9 pounds.

Risk Factors Do Not Necessarily Seal Your Fate

Certainly some of these risk factors cannot be avoided such as age, ethnicity or genetics, but most cases are still preventable because even if non-modifiable risk factors are present, diabetes is still highly dependant on lifestyle. Therefor, you may have the ability to avoid the disease if you take extra lifestyle precautions knowing you are at higher risk. You can calculate your general risk of developing type 2 diabetes here to see just how seriously you should be taking the threat.

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is more of a warning sign than a guarantee of developing diabetes. Most times it is still reversible, but by the time blood-sugars rise uncontrollably and turn into full-blown diabetes, it is no longer reversible. Prediabetes is a category of people who have higher than normal blood sugar levels, but don’t quite have levels that fall within the diabetic range. It is also sometimes referred to as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Prediabetes puts you at higher risk of developing both diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so it is important to take immediate action to control your health if you are diagnosed with prediabetes.

Check back for Type 2 Diabetes Prevention tips next! Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any questions or concerns about diabetes, feel free to sign up for a video conference with one of our board certified physicians!