Have you or someone you love been diagnosed with pre-diabetes? Here’s what you need to know.
What is pre-diabetes? If your blood sugar (glucose) level is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes, then you have pre-diabetes.
Are there other names for pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is also referred to as impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). It used to be called borderline diabetes.
But I feel fine… Some people with pre-diabetes have no symptoms. Others have some of the symptoms of diabetes. Regardless, you can have pre-diabetes and diabetes for years and not know it. High blood sugar can silently wreak havoc on your body, harming your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart. Pre-diabetes also puts you at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Does this mean that I will get diabetes? Up to 30% of people with pre-diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. But for some, pre-diabetes will resolve with early treatment that includes diet and exercise. I
Do I need medication? Smart food choices and physical activity can usually lower your blood sugar when you have pre-diabetes. Your doctor might prescribe a medication if you are at high risk for diabetes and have other medical conditions, such as obesity, high triglyc- erides, low HDL cholesterol, or hypertension.
Should other people in my family get tested for pre-diabetes? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), anyone who is overweight and over age 45 should be tested for pre-diabetes. You should also con- sider testing if you are over age 45 or under age 45 but overweight and/or facing other diabetes risk factors.
What can I do about it? Treating pre-diabetes and delaying or preventing diabetes is all about controlling your blood sugar. You can do this by eating a healthful diet and not skipping meals, exercising moderately for at least 30 minutes five days/week, and losing just 5-10% of your body weight.!
By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD