Pre-Diabetes is a Serious Illness

Pre-Diabetes is a Serious Illness

What is Pre-Diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a serious condition in which a patient has a blood sugar that is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. Pre-diabetes shows that a person is at a much higher risk of developing diabetes, a chronic and potentially fatal disease. It is estimated that every year 5-10% of people with prediabetes develop full-blown diabetes. In the long run, approximately 70% of patients with prediabetes become diabetic.  Prediabetes: a high-risk state for diabetes development – The Lancet 

Why is Pre-Diabetes a Serious Illness?

The term pre-diabetes can be misleading. A person who has pre-diabetes doesn’t have diabetes yet. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t sick. Evidence suggests that patients with pre-diabetes may already have damage to their eyes, their kidneys and their nerves. They may also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Their body already has a degree of insulin resistance. This means that the sugar in their blood has trouble moving into the cells, where it is needed. Some of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have also already been damaged. Prediabetes: A high-risk state for developing diabetes – PMC (nih.gov) 

Are all Pre-Diabetics at Equal Risk?

Not all cases of pre-diabetes are equal. Some patients are closer to becoming diabetic than others. Research indicates that the path to diabetes may be like a stone rolling downhill. It moves slowly at first, but picks up speed as it nears the bottom. In other words, your blood sugar may rise very slowly for many years, and then rise much more quickly in the last few years before you move from prediabetes to diabetes. Prediabetes: A high-risk state for developing diabetes – PMC (nih.gov) 

The Good News About Pre-Diabetes

Finding out that you have Pre-diabetes doesn’t sound like good news, but it’s a lot better than finding out that you have diabetes. While diabetes can only be controlled, pre-diabetes can sometimes be fully reversed. This is only possible, however, if you change the behaviors that caused you to develop pre-diabetes. The Surprising Truth About Prediabetes | CDC 

Pre-Diabetes- Time for Prevention

When trying to avoid the move from prediabetes to diabetes, the two most important changes to make are to lose weight and increase physical activity. You should lose at least 5-7% of your body weight while increasing your level of physical activity. Your exercise goal should be 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day, for at least five days a week.