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Early detection of prediabetes can help you avoid diabetes and other long-term health issues.

Many women are unaware that they have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are increased but not high enough to cause diabetes. Despite the fact that prediabetes affects one out of every three adults, nine out of ten people with the disease are unaware of their condition.

Despite the fact that prediabetes has no symptoms, it can have a serious impact on your health. People with prediabetes are at nearly the same risk of cardiovascular disease as those with type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes increased the chance of acquiring cardiovascular disease by 15% and death from any cause by 13% over a 10-year follow-up period, according to a study published in The BMJ on July 18, 2020.

This is a high-risk factor for diabetes because people with prediabetes who already had plaque accumulation in their arteries were at a significantly increased risk of dying young. Within a three-year follow-up period, these persons had a 36 per cent greater risk of dying. Prediabetes causes high blood sugar, which can damage the blood vessels at the back of your eye, causing retinopathy, which can lead to blindness.

Prediabetes commonly escalates to full-blown diabetes if left untreated, a condition in which your body's cells are unable to absorb glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream. Blood sugar levels rise as a result, which can lead to even more health issues. Diabetes increases the risk of renal issues and infections, in addition to heart attacks, strokes, and blindness. Within five years, 15 per cent to 30 per cent of patients with prediabetes develop diabetes.

How do you identify the potential danger of prediabetes?

If you have the following factors you should be tested:

A significant history of irregular, infrequent periods, sometimes associated with a condition called a polycystic ovarian syndrome.

 A family history of type 2 diabetes among first-degree relatives, such as a parent or sibling a family history of type 2 diabetes among first-degree relatives, such as a parent or sibling.

Dark patches in your armpits or neck creases (which suggest a disorder called acanthosis nigricans) or multiple clusters of skin tags.

Gestational diabetes throughout pregnancy and delivery of a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

If you are overweight and obese based on a mass index (BMI). 

There are two types of prediabetes testing. 

Postmenopausal women, who are at a higher risk for both prediabetes and diabetes, should get their haemoglobin A1c tested by their doctor. This test determines the number of sugar molecules inside your blood cells and can provide your doctor with information on your blood sugar levels during the last three months.

If your Hb A1c is between 5.7 and 6.4 per cent, you have prediabetes. A fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or a measurement of 140 to 199 mg/dL two hours after drinking a beverage containing 75 grams of glucose are also signs of prediabetes (a process called glucose tolerance test).

Diabetes is not an unavoidable condition.

If you have prediabetes, you don't have to worry about developing diabetes. It's something you can avoid. Adopting a healthier lifestyle is the greatest method to do so.

The National Diabetes Prevention Program found that patients with prediabetes who made significant lifestyle changes reduced their risk of getting diabetes by 58 per cent over the next three years. The most effective strategy is a weight-loss program that includes nutrition counselling, at least 150 minutes of activity each week, and a variety of cognitive behavioural changes, such as learning stress-reduction tactics and establishing long-term healthier eating habits.

You don't have to drop a lot of weight to reduce your risk of diabetes. High-risk persons who shed just 5% to 7% of their initial body weight — about 8 to 11 pounds for a 160-pound woman — had a 58 per cent reduction in their diabetes risk.

Disclaimer:

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.

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