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Pre-Diabetes

Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

Without intervention, it's likely to become type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

Many people with prediabetes have no symptoms.

Progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes isn't inevitable. With lifestyle changes, weight loss and medication, it's possible to bring a blood sugar level back to normal.

Symptoms

Prediabetes doesn't usually have any signs or symptoms. One possible sign of prediabetes is darkened skin on certain parts of the body.

Some Symptoms are :

  • Increased thirst.

  • Frequent urination.

  • Increased hunger.

  • Fatigue.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands.

  • Frequent infections.

  • Slow-healing sores.

Treatment

Healthy lifestyle choices can help you bring your blood sugar level back to normal, or at least keep it from rising toward the levels seen in type 2 diabetes.

To prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes, try to:

  • Eat healthy foods. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and olive oil is associated with a lower risk of prediabetes. Choose foods low in fat and calories and high in fibre. Eat a variety of foods to help you achieve your goals without compromising taste or nutrition.

  • Be more active. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up sugar for energy and helps the body use insulin more effectively. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise.

  • Lose excess weight. If you're overweight, losing just 5% to 7% of your bodyweight — about 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms) if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kilograms) — can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits.

  • Stop smoking. Stopping smoking can improve the way insulin works, improving your blood sugar level.

  • Take medications as needed. If you're at high risk of diabetes, your health care provider might recommend metformin (Glumetza). Medications to control cholesterol and high blood pressure might also be prescribed.

Children and prediabetes treatment

Children with prediabetes should follow the lifestyle changes recommended for adults with type 2 diabetes, including:

  • Losing weight

  • Eating fewer refined carbohydrates and fats, and more fibre

  • Reducing portion sizes

  • Eating out less often

  • Spending at least one hour every day in physical activity

Medication generally isn't recommended for children with prediabetes unless lifestyle changes aren't improving blood sugar levels. If medication is needed, metformin is usually the recommended drug.

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Lose extra weight. Losing weight reduces the risk of diabetes.
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