In the health field arena we hear this term quite a bit as the obesity epidemic continues to soar and I was shocked to find out that the American Diabetes Association estimates that as many as fifty seven million Americans suffer from this disease, most undiagnosed.
What in the world is pre Diabetes you say? Well it is when your blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as Diabetes. There are two tests that determine this, the oral glucose tolerance test and the fasting plasma glucose test. Any of us who have been pregnant remember the oral glucose tolerance test, a challenge where you drink glucose and test blood sugar levels at different intervals up to two hours post.
is considered under 140 mg/dL two hours post food. If your oral glucose tolerance test is between 140 mg/dL and 200 mg/dL you are considered pre Diabetic. Your fasting plasma glucose is a blood test that is collected in the a.m. after fasting. Ideally this should be under 100 mg/dL and if it is between 100 mg/dL and 126 mg/dL, you guessed it, you are considered pre Diabetic. Normal
Research shows that without intervention pre Diabetes can turn into Type 2 Diabetes in as little as ten years. It is also thought that circulatory and heart damage begins in early stages of pre Diabetes. Those at highest risk are the obese population, African American, Latino, North American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, the aging population, and woman diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
The prominent causes of pre Diabetes are obesity and insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced to assist with glucose metabolism. When the pancreas is unable to produce the required insulin to metabolize glucose, your blood glucose rises contributing to an increase in blood glucose. This particular pathway is considered insulin resistance.
The good news about pre Diabetes is that the Diabetes Prevention Program Study proved that thirty minutes of physical activity a day and a weight loss of five to ten percent produced a 58% reduction in Diabetes.
If you are overweight, have a family history of Diabetes, or have symptoms of increased thirst, increased hunger, sudden weight loss or weight gain it is worth getting your levels checked. It is never too late to start a physical activity and weight loss regimen. Have questions? Good luck and be well.