What Does It Really Mean to Have Prediabetes?
Type 2 diabetes usually occurs as a result of genetics and lifestyle. It is characterized by abnormally high levels of blood sugar, known as glucose. Glucose is the primary source of energy for our cells that the body makes from food we ingest. The onset of type 2 diabetes is triggered when the body is no longer able to properly use insulin, the hormone that helps cells take in glucose from the blood. When glucose stays in the blood stream instead of moving into the cells, nerves and blood vessels can be damaged, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke , blindness, kidney disease, and circulation problems.
What Is Prediabetes?Prediabetes is a condition that precedes the onset of type 2 diabetes . It is characterized by blood glucose levels that are elevated, though not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Doctors usually refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends screening for all adults 45 years old and older. Also, if you are younger than 45 and are overweight or obese and have risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened. Risk factors include:
- Family history of diabetes
- Having hypertension , high cholesterol , or high triglycerides
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Belonging to certain ethnic groups (Hispanic American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Native American, or African American)
- History of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms)
- History of cardiovascular disease
- Having a condition associated with insulin resistance, such as polycystic ovary syndrome or metabolic syndrome