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Here’s What You Need to Know About Prediabetes

Blood sugar test

Story at-a-glance -

  • Also called borderline diabetes, prediabetes basically refers to a "prediagnosis of diabetes"
  • Prediabetes is a growing global problem and is tied closely to obesity

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 84 million American adults are struggling with prediabetes. This means that 1 in 3 adults has this condition. And here’s what’s more alarming: Ninety percent of prediabetics are not even aware that they have it.1

There’s a lot of speculation and misconception surrounding both diabetes and if you’re not careful, being misinformed about this illness can put you on a path toward devastating diseases and even early death.

Defining Prediabetes: How Does It Differ From Diabetes?

Also called borderline diabetes,2 prediabetes basically refers to a “prediagnosis of diabetes.” This is defined as having a blood sugar level that is higher than average, but not high enough to be categorized as diabetes.3

Just like diabetes, prediabetes happens when a person’s body can no longer process glucose. This is because your body no longer responds to insulin. Produced by your pancreas, insulin is essential to allow sugar to enter your cells (and out of your bloodstream).

However, if you have prediabetes, it means your pancreas isn’t making enough insulin or your cells are already becoming resistant to it. Hence, the glucose stays and accumulates in your bloodstream, causing high levels.

So how high should your blood sugar be for you to be classified as prediabetic? According to the Mayo Clinic.4 you can be diagnosed with this condition if you have a fasting blood sugar that is between 100 and 125 mg/dl or have an A1 C level between 5.7 and 6.3 percent.

If you have prediabetes, what it means is that you have developed insulin resistance and are no longer using fat as your primary fuel. Prediabetes is a growing global problem and is tied closely to obesity.5 If you fail to make lifestyle and dietary changes, then this metabolic condition can develop into full-blown Type 2 diabetes.

The Statistics on Prediabetes Are Now More Alarming Than Ever

While the numbers from the CDC mentioned above already seem dismal, data from a much larger study, conducted in the Netherlands, found that the situation may become much worse.

Published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, the study tracked and analyzed data for a period of 15 years, and revealed that almost half of 45-year-olds will develop borderline diabetes at a certain point in their lives. And, 75 percent of those with high blood sugar levels at age 45 will then go on to develop full-blown diabetes.6

But diabetes is not the only disease that may stem from prediabetes. In a meta-analysis that analyzed data from nearly 900,000 people, researchers found that prediabetics have a 15 percent increased risk of certain cancers, such as stomach, liver, breast, pancreas and endometrial cancer.7

The Good News: Prediabetes Is Completely Reversible

If you receive a diagnosis of prediabetes from your doctor, don’t despair. The truth is that progressing from prediabetes to Type 2 diabetes is not inevitable, despite what most conventional physicians would like you to believe. Researchers from The Lancet acknowledge this in a study, saying in an accompanying journal:8

“The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is increasing worldwide, and the prevalence of the at-risk state for the disease (often termed prediabetes) is even higher.

There is good evidence that intensive lifestyle prevention programs can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes in those at high risk.”

There are ways to bring back your blood sugar levels to normal and reclaim your health. All it takes is a few lifestyle tweaks, such as consuming healthy foods, incorporating regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.

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Learn More About Prediabetes From These Pages

If you want to fully understand how prediabetes occurs, you can consult these pages for more information. They will help educate you on the risk factors, telltale symptoms and ways on how you can reverse this condition so it does not fully progress to full-blown diabetes, and you will not suffer the consequences.

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