WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT PREDIABETES? Prediabetes doesn’t typically cause symptoms. However, it’s still a concern because it’s a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, it can progress to type 2 diabetes and put you at risk for several related complications.
VeryWell Health’s recent article, “What Is Prediabetes?” discusses prediabetes, its symptoms, causes and diagnosis. It also examines how prediabetes is treated and how to prevent it from progressing.
Prediabetes—also known as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose—usually affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. The condition tends to be silent and rarely causes noticeable symptoms. Most who are diagnosed with prediabetes don't know exactly when it started. The condition can remain stable for years before progressing to diabetes.
In the rare cases when prediabetes does cause symptoms, they’re usually subtle. This means they can be missed easily or mistaken for other health issues. Signs of prediabetes include excessive hunger or thirst, weight gain, fatigue, and polyuria (frequent urination).
Without treatment, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes, which is a medical condition that causes a number of health complications, including:
Prediabetes isn’t linked to type 1 diabetes, which is a form that usually appears in childhood. It is also not related to diabetes insipidus, a condition that affects the kidneys.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that keeps blood sugar levels within a healthy range. If you have prediabetes, you probably make enough insulin. However, your body's cells are resistant to insulin and its effects. This results in decreased energy and a slightly elevated blood glucose level.
The exact cause of prediabetes is unknown. There are several known risk factors, and the fact is that those who don't get much exercise may be at risk of prediabetes. Other risk factors include hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol levels, obesity, and excess body fat, particularly in the abdominal area.
It isn’t clear if these health problems cause or are caused by prediabetes. It is also possible that they are all caused by another factor. Even so, it’s important to be screened if you have any risk factors for diabetes.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT PREDIABETES?
Reference: VeryWell Health (Jan. 31, 2023) “What Is Prediabetes?”
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