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Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Prediabetes is a condition when blood sugar in the body is higher than normal, but not high enough to be categorized as type 2 diabetes. Get to know about this condition, from symptoms to prevention in the following review.

Prediabetes: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

What is Prediabetes?

Normally, the body will produce the hormone insulin. The function of this hormone is to process the sugar that enters the body into energy.

Unfortunately, in people who have prediabetes, this process doesn’t work as it should. As a result, there is a buildup of sugar in the blood.

Sufferers generally have blood sugar levels of around 100-125 mg/dL before consuming any food. This is known as the fasting blood sugar level.

If left unchecked, this condition can develop into type 2 diabetes within 10 years. That way, you are more at risk of experiencing long-term complications of diabetes, such as problems with blood vessels, heart and kidneys.

Prediabetes Symptoms

In general, this condition will not show any symptoms. However, sufferers may experience dark skin on certain parts, such as the neck, armpits and groin.

In addition, symptoms that are often encountered in people with prediabetes include:

  • Frequent urination.
  • Fatigue.
  • Often feel hungry and thirsty.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet.
  • Frequent infections.
  • Wounds are hard to heal.
  • Weight loss

When to See a Doctor?

Immediately consult a doctor after experiencing some of the symptoms above. In addition, if you have a family history of diabetes, consider having a blood sugar test.

Also Read: Why Diabetics Have Routine Control to the Doctor?

Causes of Prediabetes

The exact cause of prediabetes is not known. However, this condition occurs when the body cannot process sugar as it should.

In the patient’s body, the pancreas does not produce the hormone insulin in sufficient quantities. Even if it could, the cells in the body could not use it properly. In the end, this condition causes a spike in blood sugar levels.

Prediabetes Risk Factors

Same with type 2 diabetes, a person is more susceptible to prediabetes if they have some of the following conditions:

  • Overweight or obese.
  • Frequent consumption of processed foods or foods and drinks high in sugar.
  • Less active.
  • Age 35 and over.
  • Family history with diabetes.
  • Have a mother with a history of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
  • Certain ethnicities, such as blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian Americans.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Tobacco smoking habit.
  • High blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or more).
  • History of heart disease.
  • High bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol.
  • High triglycerides.
  • Big waist size.

Prediabetes Diagnostics

To diagnose this condition, the doctor will perform one of the following tests:

1. Fasting Blood Sugar Test

Before carrying out this test, the doctor will first ask the patient to fast or not eat anything for the whole night; usually for 8 hours.

After that, the doctor will check blood sugar levels in the body. The result is as follows:

  • Normal if blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL.
  • Prediabetes if blood sugar is in the range of 100-125 mg/dL.
  • Diabetes if blood sugar is 126 mg/dL or higher.

2. Glucose Tolerance Test (Oral)

Same with the fasting blood sugar test, the doctor will ask the patient to fast or not eat anything overnight.

The next day, the new doctor did a glucose tolerance test by mouth. The test results are as follows:

  • It’s normal if the blood sugar is less than 140 mg/dL after the second test.
  • Prediabetes if blood sugar is in the range of 140-199 mg/dL after the second test.
  • Diabetes if blood sugar is 200 mg/dL or higher after the second test.

3. HbA1C test

A hemoglobin A1C test is performed to find out the average blood sugar level for the last 2-3 months. Usually, doctors will recommend this test for diabetics to find out whether their blood sugar levels are controlled or not.

The test results are described as follows:

  • It is normal for the result to be 5.6 percent or less.
  • Prediabetes if the result is 5.7-6.4 percent.
  • Diabetes if the result is 6.5 percent or more.

The test can be done more than once to get more accurate results.

Prediabetes Treatment

This condition can be treated by changing lifestyles to be healthier. There are ways that can be done, including:

  • Consumption of complete and balanced nutritious food.
  • Keep your weight ideal. If you are overweight, lose about 5-10 percent of your body weight.
  • Exercise regularly for 30 minutes every day. Do it 5 days a week.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol stable.
  • Take metformin to lower blood sugar. Consult your doctor regarding the use of this drug if you are at risk for diabetes.
  • Manage stress well.

Prediabetes Complications

Prediabetes that is not handled properly can cause long-term damage problems, even if the condition has not led to type 2 diabetes.

If prediabetes develops into type 2 diabetes, a number of complications can occur, including:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Strokes.
  • Heart disease.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Kidney illness.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Fatty liver disease.
  • Damage to the eyes, including blindness.
  • Amputation.

Read Also: Alert, These are 9 Long-Term Complications Due to Type 2 Diabetes

Prediabetes Prevention

In general, several steps to prevent prediabetes that can be tried include:

  • Active move.
  • Maintain ideal body weight. If you are overweight, try to lose it.
  • Controls blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Stop smoking.

This is an explanation about prediabetes, from symptoms to prevention that can be done. Treat it immediately before this disease develops into type 2 diabetes. We hope this information is useful!

  1. Anonymous. 2021. Prediabetes – Your Chance to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes. (Accessed January 5, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2022. The Surprising Truth About Prediabetes. (Accessed January 5, 2023).
  3. Anonymous. Prediabetes. (Accessed January 5, 2023).
  4. Mayo Clinic staff. 2022. Prediabetes. (Accessed January 5, 2023).
  5. WebMD Editorial Contributors. 2021. Prediabetes (Borderline Diabetes). (Accessed January 5, 2023).

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