Pre diabetes

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Overview

Prediabetes means you have a higher than normal blood sugar level. It's not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes yet. But without lifestyle changes, adults and children with prediabetes are at high risk to develop type 2 diabetes.

If you have prediabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes — especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys — may already be starting. There's good news, however. Progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes isn't inevitable.

Eating healthy foods, making physical activity part of your daily routine and staying at a healthy weight can help bring your blood sugar level back to normal. The same lifestyle changes that can help prevent type 2 diabetes in adults might also help bring children's blood sugar levels back to normal

Symptoms

Increased thirst.

Frequent urination.

Increased hunger.

Fatigue.

Blurred vision.

Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands.

Frequent infections.

Slow-healing sores.

Causes

Your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin allows blood sugar (glucose) into your cells so your body can use it as energy. In prediabetes, your cells don’t respond to insulin as they should.

In the prediabetes cycle:

Cells become insulin resistant. They have a sluggish or low response to insulin.

Your pancreas makes more insulin, trying to get the cells to respond.

For a while, the extra insulin makes up for the weak response. Blood sugar levels stay normal.

Eventually, your pancreas can’t keep up production. Extra glucose stays in your blood instead of entering your cells.

Your blood sugar keeps rising. At this point, a blood test may show prediabetes.

Without treatment, you can end up with Type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors

Prediabetes can occur in anyone, but certain factors can increase your chances of developing the condition.

Research suggestsTrusted Source that prediabetes is strongly linked to lifestyle factors and genetics. Here are some of the main risk factors for prediabetes:

Age. People over 45 years old are at a higher risk of prediabetes.

Body weight. If you have a body mass index (BMI) over 25, your doctor may want to screen you for prediabetes.

Waist size. Having more fat around the waist than the hips can increase your risk of prediabetes. You can measure this risk factor by checking if your waist is 40 or more inches if you’re male and 35 inches or more if you’re female.

Race and ethnicity. Research has shown that prediabetes occurs at higher rates in people who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic, or Native American. Health disparities, such as access to care, may likely factor into this higher prevalence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source.

Diet. Regular consumption of red meat, processed meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages could increase your risk of developing prediabetes.

Physical inactivity. Not only can getting regular exercise help you maintain a moderate weight, but it can also reduce the risk of prediabetes.

Family history. If you have an immediate relative with type 2 diabetes, you may be at a higher risk of developing prediabetes.

Tobacco use. In addition to increasing the risk of insulin resistance, smoking may also be associated withTrusted Source an increase in waist size, which is another risk factor of prediabetes.

Medical history. Certain conditions, including sleep apnea, gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, high blood pressure, and increased cholesterol or triglyceride levels may be linked to a higher risk of insulin resistance and prediabetes.


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Complications

High blood pressure.

High cholesterol.

Heart disease.

Stroke.

Kidney disease.

Nerve damage.

Fatty liver disease.

Eye damage, including loss of vision.

Prevention

Healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent prediabetes and its progression to type 2 diabetes — even if diabetes runs in your family. These include:


Eating healthy foods

Getting active

Losing excess weight

Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol

Not smoking