As the name suggests, it’s the condition before diabetes. In other words, it is the condition when the blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered as ‘diabetic’. However, if not managed timely, can develop into type 2 diabetes. A lifestyle change is compulsory to deal with prediabetes symptoms. Long term prediabetes may affect the heart, kidney, and blood vessels. A healthy routine, lifestyle modifications and a healthy weight can bring the blood sugar level to normal again.
There may be various reasons for developing the disease or maybe unknown reasons.
Usually, prediabetes doesn’t have any noticeable signs or symptoms. The one big symptom is darkened skin on some parts of the body such as on the neck, armpits, knees, elbows and knuckles.
When prediabetes starts moving to type 2 diabetes, symptoms include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
There can be some other diseases that might occur along with prediabetes such as high blood pressure, high levels of LDL(low-density lipoprotein) and low HDL levels(high-density lipoprotein) and high levels of triglycerides.
Risk factors for prediabetes
Overweight: having more fats in body cells increases insulin resistance and does not let it work.
Diet: high-calorie food, high sugary foods processed foods, and alcohol consumption may lead to prediabetic symptoms.
Age: the risk for prediabetes increases after the age of 45.
Sleep disorders: people with any sleeping disorders like sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea have high chances of developing prediabetes.
Tobacco consumption: consuming tobacco can also cause insulin resistance.
Gestational diabetes: if a mother has had diabetes at the time of pregnancy, her child is highly susceptible to acquiring prediabetic symptoms.
How does it affect your baby?
Heavyweight at birth: a mother having high blood sugar than normal may have an overweight baby- about 9 pounds or more.
Premature birth: high blood sugar increases the risk of premature birth due to the heavy weight of the child. Or maybe an early delivery is recommended.
Difficulty in breathing: infants born from mothers having gestational diabetes may experience breathing disorders like respiratory distress syndrome. It is a condition that makes breathing difficult in infants.
Hypoglycemia: in some cases, babies born with gestational diabetes have low blood sugar just after birth for a short time. If it is serious, can even cause seizures in the baby. Timely feeding and an intravenous glucose solution can normalise the blood sugar level again.
Risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life: babies of mothers having gestational diabetes have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity in later life.
Stillbirth: unmanaged gestational diabetes can cause either baby’s death before or shortly after birth.
Prediabetic complications include:
- Heart diseases
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
- Vision problems
- High cholesterol
Prevention tips don’t guarantee to prevent gestational diabetes. But adopting more healthy habits will eventually prevent the condition. Thus, if women want to prevent themselves from further diabetes in future, they should follow the given tips:
Eat healthy foods: take foods high in fibre and low in fats and calories. Rather consume more fruits and vegetables.
Be active: adopting a healthy lifestyle and regular workouts during and after pregnancy help people to avoid gestational diabetes. A 30-minute workout is enough every day. Also, people should try to take short walks in a whole day routine.
Start pregnancy with a healthy weight: when planning for a baby, women should manage their weight before getting pregnant.
- Avoiding processed and high sugary foods
- Testing glucose levels often
- Antidiabetic medications
- Regular exercise
- Avoid smoking and drinking
- Losing extra weight
- Improving diet
- Treating other underlying diseases that may be causing prediabetic symptoms