Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “pre-diabetes”—blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
About 49% of South Africans have pre-diabetes.
Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during pre-diabetes.
Symptoms of Pre-diabetes
Often, pre-diabetes has no signs or symptoms.
Darkened areas of skin, a condition called acanthosis nigricans, is one of the few signs suggesting you are at risk for diabetes. Common areas that may be affected include the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles.
Classic red flags of type 2 diabetes to watch for include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
Tests to Tell if You Have Pre-diabetes
While diabetes and pre-diabetes occur in people of all ages and races, some groups have a higher risk of developing the disease. Diabetes is more common in Africans, Indians, and Asian Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population. This means they are also at an increased risk of developing pre-diabetes.
There are three different tests your doctor can use to determine whether you have pre-diabetes:
- The A1C test
- The fasting plasma glucose test (FPG)
- or the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
The blood glucose levels measured after these tests determine whether you have a normal metabolism, or whether you have pre-diabetes or diabetes.
If your blood glucose level is abnormal following the FPG, you have impaired fasting glucose (IFG); if your blood glucose level is abnormal following the OGTT, you have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Both are also known as pre-diabetes.
A high score may indicate that you have pre-diabetes or at risk for pre-diabetes. Take the test and find out for sure.
How to Prevent Pre-diabetes
Pre-diabetes is a serious medical condition that can be treated. The good news is that the recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study conclusively showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making changes to their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. They may even be able to return their blood glucose levels to normal.
While the study also showed that some medications may delay the development of diabetes, diet and exercise were more efficient. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, produced a 58% reduction in diabetes.
Nutrition, Fitness and Exercise
Download the FREE Manna Diabetic e-book to help you reverse pre-diabetes as well as type 2 Diabetes.
The e-book include tips, recipes, menu plans and exercise tips to help you with weight loss and to rectify blood sugar problems.