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Most of us have heard of the term “diabetes”, right? We know that it is a disease that has no cure. It can only be prevented and if you’re diagnosed with it, you’ll spend a lifetime managing it.
Blood glucose is extremely important for our body as it gives it energy. A hormone called insulin is responsible for ensuring that the blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, can reach the cells. However, when our body isn’t able to produce or make use of insulin, the blood glucose stays in the blood, unutilised, and becomes harmful.
But not all cases of a high blood sugar level mean you have diabetes. It could mean that you have prediabetes, which is a warning stage of sorts.
So we talked to Dr. Sohail Durani, associate consultant, Department of Endocrinology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram in order to understand what prediabetes is and who is at risk for it.
According to him, “Prediabetes can be defined as a state of insulin resistance. The blood sugar level is high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If it is found through blood tests that the fasting blood sugar level ranges from 100 to 125 mg/dL, then we can diagnose the patient as being prediabetic.”
So, who is at risk for developing prediabetes?
Dr. Durani talks about three categories of people who happen to be at a higher risk of developing prediabetes:
1. A person who is overweight
According to the doctor, being overweight is a condition of chronic and low-grade inflammation. This increases the chance of developing insulin resistance. Anyone who has a BMI of over 25 is overweight and someone with a BMI of over 28 is obese.
2. A person with a family history of diabetes
Dr. Durani says that having a family history of diabetes is often a factor that contributes to an individual developing prediabetes. There’s definitely a genetic link there and you need to be more alert about getting your blood sugar level tested if it is something that runs in the family.
3. A person with metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome can give way to numerous conditions that all occur at the same time. They range from high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels to excess body fat, amongst others. These conditions increase the risk of heart diseases such as a stroke and heart attack. If you have metabolic syndrome, you should consult with your doctor about checking your blood sugar level as well.
What to do if you have prediabetes?
Dr. Durani says that your lifestyle and dietary changes can definitely improve blood sugar levels. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, you need to take more care of your lifestyle as well as dietary needs. However, only a doctor would be able to advise you about the best course of action according to your individual situation as well as medical history.