Are you pre-diabetic? Find out everything you need to know

Ignorance may be bliss, but not when it comes to health. It is best to be aware of common but dangerous medical conditions that you can be afflicted by. Studies reveal that just 10% of adults over 20 are aware that they have pre-diabetes and are susceptible to developing the disease. It is high time that you become proactive and check whether you are at risk of developing diabetes.

You probably haven't gone for a medical screening yet, and possibly do not know if you are at risk for Type II diabetes. Most people delay going for a health check-up until it's too late. Please know that diabetes is not something that can be cured. If you contract the disease it's there for life. You'll only be able to control it through diet, exercise and medication. It will not go away. It is in your interest to know if you are at a risk of getting diabetes?

Given below is a simple quiz that will let you determine your risk factor. This is not all conclusive, you will still have to see a doctor and run through some tests to confirm if you are in the clear.

What gender are you?

  • Female (0)
  • Male (1)

What is your age?

  • Under 40 (0)
  • Between 40 & 49 (1)
  • Between 50 & 59 (2)
  • 60 and above (3)

Did you have/had gestational diabetes during pregnancy?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Did you deliver a baby weighing more than 9lbs?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do your parents or siblings have diabetes?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do you suffer from hypertension?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Have you been diagnosed with heart disease?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Are your cholesterol levels high?

  • No (0)
  • Moderately high (1)
  • Very high (2)

Do you smoke?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (0)

Do you eat 5 or more helpings of fruits and vegetables a day?

  • Yes (0)
  • No (1)

Does your diet comprise mainly of foods that are processed, refined and deep fried?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle?

  • No (0)
  • Yes (1)

Do you sleep too less or too much?

  • No (0)
  • Yes, less than six hours (1)
  • Yes, more nine hours (1)

Are you over-weight or obese?

  • Check and online tool to determine if you weigh more than you should

Add the points displayed within the parentheses next to your responses. If your score is five or more you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. You need to see a doctor and get yourself tested.

If reports are to be believed then diabetes has become quite an epidemic. More and more people are testing positive for diabetes. It is a lifestyle disease and here are answers to a few questions that most people have about the disease –

Can the risk for type II diabetes be reduced?

The answer to that is yes. Since it's primarily a lifestyle disorder it's easy to reduce the risk. You can do the following to cut down the risk of diabetes –

  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight
  • Eat healthy

If you suffer from hypertension and/or high levels of cholesterol then you are at a higher risk. Take steps to control these two conditions.

Does diabetes have any symptoms?

Diabetes can sometimes be a silent disease, where the patient remains unaware that they have the disease. However, there are a few indications that are signals of diabetes –

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Excessive urination, particularly at night
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts and wounds that do not heal quickly

Is there a cure for diabetes?

It is believed that diabetes cannot be cured, though it is possible to prevent and delay it. There is a simple formula for this which involves eating healthy foods that have a low Glycaemic Index (GI) and exercising regularly. Those who suffer from the condition can also benefit from this formula. They will though need to continue medication in addition.

Learn to read the warning signs and symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes is of three types –
  • Type I Diabetes:

    This type of diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disorder. It is also referred to as juvenile diabetes and affects mostly children and young adults. The condition occurs when the immune system resists the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type I diabetic patients are required to take medication every day as the condition can cause diabetes-induced coma and be fatal as well
  • Type II diabetes:

    This form of diabetes is what most people suffer from. There are estimates that out of all the diabetic patients in the world, roughly 90% have Type II diabetes. In this condition, the body is unable to utilise the insulin it produces. The main reasons for Type II diabetes are a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, old age and hereditary influences
  • Gestational Diabetes:

    Common during pregnancy, this type of diabetes develops due to fluctuation in hormones and due to a lack of insulin. The condition normally lasts for the duration of the pregnancy and disappears once the child is delivered. However, women who have gestational diabetes are at a risk of developing Type II at a later stage

Early detection of the condition is the key to preventing diabetes-related complications setting in. Medication can help treat the symptoms of diabetes effectively. Other than the symptoms mentioned above the following signs are also an indication of the disease –

  • Unexplained weight loss can be due to Type I diabetes
  • Numbness or a tingling sensation in the feet and the hands could be due to Type II diabetes

Diabetes creeps in silently, its symptoms are so subtle and minor that most people do not even notice them. Be wary of any of the symptoms mentioned above and see a doctor if any of them feel familiar. Go for a check-up if you are at risk of developing diabetes. Pregnant women must get themselves screened during prenatal check-ups.

Are you pre-diabetic?

What does pre-diabetic mean, and how do you know if you are pre-diabetic? The food we eat is converted into a sugar; called glucose. This is what is used by the body as energy. In diabetic patients, the blood sugar levels keep going up and the body is unable to utilise it. This rise in blood glucose levels is dangerous and this is what causes diabetes. People diagnosed as being pre-diabetic have slightly elevated blood glucose, but it is not high enough to be labelled as diabetes. A more detailed explanation about diabetes is provided in this article - 'Understanding diabetes – everything you should know'.

People with pre-diabetes experience none of the symptoms listed in this article, which make it next to impossible to know if they are high-risk candidates for diabetes. It, therefore, becomes important to have an annual medical check-up. People who get categorised as pre-diabetics must begin taking precautionary measures since they are at a higher risk of developing the disease. They must make lifestyle changes and consult the doctor about treatment. It is imperative that they make an effort to understand the groups of ideal foods for diabetics and include them in their diet.

Prevention of Type II Diabetes

It is easy to manage the risk of diabetes by making small changes that deliver significant results. Carefully select your meals; know that some foods are better than others for fighting diabetes. Eating high fibre foods with low Glycaemic Index are perfect. Lose weight, especially, trim the girth around your belly. These changes that you incorporate in your lifestyle will reduce the risk of the disease and/or bring blood glucose levels within normal range and additionally help fend off cardiovascular problems, kidney disease and chances of stroke and some other chronic conditions.

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can also cause dental problems, loss of vision, kidney disease, stroke, heart disease and even amputation. If you change your lifestyle to a healthier one you will avert the pre-diabetic phase, which is a precursor of Type II diabetes. You will also feel more energetic, be physically fit and have an overall healthy life.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 483 articles authored by Juana

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