Before developing type 2 diabetes, most people have “prediabetes.” This is the medical term for blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal but not enough to cause diabetes. It is also called Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose depending on the test that detects it.
At present, this condition can be seen in over 57 million people. But even if these people don’t have diabetes yet, the bad news is that prediabetes may cause long-term damage to the body, especially in the heart and circulatory system.While the exact cause of prediabetes is unknown, researchers have found that some genes are related to insulin resistance. What we know is that people with prediabetes can’t process sugar properly anymore. Thus, sugar builds up in the bloodstream instead of fueling cells that make up muscles and other tissues. Excess fat, particularly abdominal fat, and inactivity are other important factors in the development of prediabetes.
Both diabetes and prediabetes can occur in people of all ages and races. But some groups have a higher risk than others. These include African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders as well as the elderly.
There’s still hope though. What’s good about prediabetes is that it gives you the opportunity to do something about it before things get worst. The progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes can be avoided with healthy lifestyle changes like eating healthy foods, regular physical activity and keeping a healthy weight. This will help bring your blood sugar level back to normal.
Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent with the above lifestyle changes. Experts say people with prediabetes should reduce their weight by 5-10 percent and engage in some type of modest physical activity for 30 minutes every day.