Prediabetes is a health condition whereby a person’s blood-sugar levels are chronically elevated, but not yet quite
high enough to mean diabetes. It is shockingly common in the United States, affecting approximately 1 in 3 American adults
. Unfortunately, many people don’t take prediabetes as the serious wake-up call it should be, which may be one of the foremost reasons there is such an extraordinary number of Americans developing type 2 diabetes.
What are the Symptoms of Prediabetes?
Some people don’t experience any symptoms even though their blood-sugars are elevated, while others may exhibit some of the early symptoms of diabetes
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent (yeast) infections
Whether or not you are having symptoms, elevated sugars are enough cause for concern to start acting upon.
What Type of Diabetes Does it Lead to?
Prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes (and may have a correlation with gestational diabetes as well), but it cannot lead to Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes
is an autoimmune condition whereby the body attacks the pancreas, causing problems with insulin production. Type 1 has no prerequisite and cannot be prevented, whereas type 2 can most often be prevented by making healthier lifestyle alterations such as exercising more, quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol consumption and adhering to a healthy diet.
Not All Medical Professionals Agree
There is a camp of medical professionals standing in opposition to prediabetes awareness campaigns
, viewing the term as rash, overzealous and responsible for unnecessary testing. These doctors believe a diagnosis of prediabetes alarms people more than helps them. To this sentiment, Ann Albright, the CDC’s director of the Division of Diabetes has responded, “Our major message is to use this as a warning, not to frighten people. It’s just not an option to stand by and watch millions of people march to diabetes.” Most medical professionals seem to err on the side of the CDC, looking at a prediabetes screening as a good way to set people down a better path of self-care and avoid a bigger health problem down the line.
Why Prediabetes Should be Taken Seriously
Prediabetes can be a direct antecedent to type 2 diabetes, a life-threatening and often debilitating disease that can cause kidney failure, loss of limbs, neurological complications, cardiovascular problems and more. Being that type 1 and 2 diabetes are collectively the 7th leading cause of death
in the united states, it is important to take a diagnosis of prediabetes seriously so you can positively change the trajectory of your future before type 2 diabetes takes a hold of your life.
Answer Your Wake-up Call
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, look at it as a second chance to get your health on track before you head down the harrowing path of no return to full-on diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes or suspect you may have it, talk to your doctor about a personalized lifestyle action plan to help you turn your health around before it becomes too difficult to do so!
Thanks for visiting EMC! If you have any questions about diabetes, prediabetes or any other health issue, our top-tier Emergency Medical Center physicians are around 24/7/365 to assist you!