The Precursor to Diabetes

Prediabetes, as its name suggests is a condition in which one’s blood sugar level  is higher than it should be, but not high enough to warranty a diagnosis of diabetes. The problem is it lies low. About eighty-six  million Americans over the age of twenty have prediabetes, but since they exhibit no symptoms, have no idea they have the condition, or in many cases, that there is even such a thing as prediabetes. As a result, they do not try to control their sugar intake, and are eventually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within ten years. Had  they been diagnosed as prediabetics, not only is it possible they could have halted diabetes’ progress, but they could have prevented diabetic complications like peripheral neuropathy, kidney problems, and in extreme cases, blindness.

Who Should Be Tested

Although not specifically linked to prediabetes, there are a few experiences that those who go on to be diagnosed report. These include an increased need to urinate, blurred vision, and extreme fatigue. These do not mean one has prediabetes, but are an indication that it is a possibility, and a blood glucose test is warranted, especially if any of these apply:

  • Being in a high-risk group. This includes anyone with a family history of diabetes; is of African-American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian heritage; is over the age of forty-five; or lives a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Having a health problem linked to high blood sugar such as high blood pressure, heart disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, high cholesterol, or obesity,
  • The recent appearance of dark skin patches. Known as acanthosis nigricans,  this skin disorder shows up in areas of the body prone to folding and creasing such as the neck, knees, knuckles, elbows, and armpits.
  • An inability to sleep for more than six hours. Medical researchers have speculated that sleep impairment may be due to the interaction of high blood sugar with hormones and the nervous system.

Treatment for Pre-Diabetes

Should a blood glucose test reveal a person has prediabetes, the three-fold treatment is simple,

Number one: If overweight, the prediabetic needs to lose weight. A five to ten percent loss can make a significant difference.

Number two: Exercise. The gradual development of a exercise regimen of at least thirty minutes, five days a week.

Number three: A healthy diet low in sugar.

If one thinks about it, these precautionary “treatments” are all inter-related, and are a painless way to prevent developing diabetes in Las Vegas.

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