What is Pre Diabetes?
Normal fasting blood glucose is less than 100mg/dl. Fasting blood glucose at 126mg/dl (detected two times) and above is diabetes. Fasting blood glucose between 100-125mg/dl is Pre Diabetes which suggests increased risk for Diabetes in near future.
Hba1c is a parameter that suggests an average of blood sugar over the last 3 months.Normal Hba1c is below 5.7%. Hba1c of 6.5% or above is suggestive of diabetes and between 5.7-6.4% suggests Pre Diabetes.
Oral Glucose tolerance test that is testing blood glucose 2 hours after consumption of 75g glucose orally is another way of detecting diabetes. Normal is less than 140mg/dl and above 200mg/dl suggests Diabetes. Values between 140-200mg/dl imply Pre Diabetes.
Switching to well-balanced meals high in healthy, fiber-rich foods, along with incorporating more physical activity, can help people with prediabetes take charge of their health.
“It has been well cited in research studies such as the National Institutes of Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program Outcome Study that incorporating healthy eating habits, weight reduction and increased physical activity can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“Additionally, lifestyle changes resulting in modest weight loss have shown to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 34% for four years compared to placebo, which was an outcome of the Johns Hopkins’ diabetes prevention program.”
Physical activity can help prevent diabetes while boosting heart health. Recommendations say that people with prediabetes try to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise or aim for 10,000 daily steps. However since Indian population is at a higher risk for Diabetes and other cardio metabolic diseases, it is beneficial to increase the activity to 300minutes/week. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting exercise or leveling up your current physical activity.
Lose some weight
To steer away from type 2 diabetes, men and women should try to achieve and maintain a body mass index of 25 or lower.In Indian scenario it’s better to keep the BMI of less than 23. Waist circumference should be under 90cm for men and 80cm for women especially for Indians.
Even small amounts of weight loss can have a benefit. “The ADA states that moderate rate reduction of 5% to 10% of your body weight can significantly lower your A1C level,”. “So, for instance, for a person weighing 80kg, a weight loss of 8-10kg could make a difference.”
Get enough sleep
The relationship among sleep, diabetes and weight gain is important to understand. “Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase people’s cravings for sugary foods. “People with prediabetes should make sure they’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night.”
Avoid excessive alcohol and all tobacco
These are modifiable lifestyle factors that can significantly lower your risk of several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, vascular problems and metabolic syndrome. Fatty liver incidence is particularly high in obese and diabetes patients, that risk further increases with alcohol consumption. Ideally no amount of alcohol is safe for consumption.
Stay on top of your numbers
People with prediabetes of a significant family history of diabetes should be vigilant about their laboratory test results. “Know your ABCs,” she advises. “That’s A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol. And if you’re at risk or have prediabetes, make sure you follow up with your fasting blood glucose, post prandial(2hr after meal) blood glucose, HbA1C level with a blood test at least yearly.”
Reversing Prediabetes — Is it possible?
Yes! If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, progressing to diabetes is not a given. If you have a family history of Diabetes you will not necessarily have it too.‘
“Genetics may load the gun but lifestyle pulls the trigger’.
Adopting a well-balanced diet, staying active, sleeping well, taking measures to reduce stress, controlling your weight can put you in control, enabling you to arrest or even reverse the process.
I like this quote from the CDC: ‘Life doesn’t always give you the time to change the outcome. Prediabetes does.
There are some forms of Diabetes like MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of Young) which is generally found in young adults and runs in families. It has a genetic basis and such individuals are at a very high risk of Diabetes. However, not all is lost even if you have been detected with Diabetes, with proper diet, lifestyle changes, medications and regular health check ups you can live a long and healthy life free of complications.