Pre-diabetes, or known as "impaired glucose tolerance", is a health condition where the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It is usually present before a person develops the type 2 diabetes. Studies show that many pre-diabetics will have type 2 diabetes within 10 years after spending years in a state of pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes usually has no clear signs or symptoms. In fact, a lot of people with diabetes unrealized that they have this problem as diabetes symptoms develop so gradually and look so harmless. Some people even have no symptoms at all. A research done recently shows that long-term damage, especially to the heart and circulatory system, might have already happened during the stage of pre-diabetes.
Therefore, it is important to recognize and treat pre-diabetes as early as possible to prevent it developing into type 2 diabetes and avoids more serious health problems, such as heart and kidney disease. Medical professionals now found out that health complications associated with type 2 diabetes usually happen before the diagnosis of diabetes is made. Pre-diabetes can actually be treated easily and successfully by eating healthy diet, doing exercise regularly (at least 150 minutes per week), stop smoking, treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol and lose extra body weight.
Since pre-diabetes has no symptom, it is wise to have a blood glucose screening if you have any risk factors for pre-diabetes. Among the risk factors are being overweight (BMI >25), do not exercise regularly, do not have enough sleep, over the age of 45 year-old, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, have high blood pressure, good HDL cholesterol is less than 35 mg/dL or 0.9 mmol/L and triglyceride level is more that 250 mg/dL or 2.83 mmol/L. For women who have had developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy, or used to give birth to baby weighed more than 9 pounds, or have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), are also have higher risk of having pre-diabetes.
- American Diabetes Association, Alexandria VA, Pre-diabetes, http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/
- National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), Bethesda, MD, Insulin Resistance and Pre-diabetes, October 2008. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/insulinresistance/#symptoms
- MayoClinic, Pre-diabetes Symptoms, January 5 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prediabetes/DS00624
- WebMD Diabetes Health Center, Pre-diabetes, December 17 2009. http://diabetes.webmd.com/prediabetes
This page was last modified on: July 30, 2012