Combating Prediabetes with Awareness
Diabetes is a metabolic disease which is caused by the pancreas not creating enough insulin to help a person process the sugar in their diet. There are a few different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes means that your body attacks the insulin producing cells, causing them to stop making it. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body stops effectively using insulin, so the pancreas stops producing as much. Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
Type 1 diabetes does not yet have a discoverable cause, but Type 2 is known to be caused by a lack of exercise and poor diet. Prediabetes is the body’s state before a full diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is confirmed, but there are ways to prevent it from occurring. Read on below!
The main cause of prediabetes is a lack of exercise and poor diet. Body weight also plays a major factor in determining your risk for prediabetes. Typically, diabetes will run in a family. You may be more predisposed for a later-in-life diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes if other family members have had it in the past. The reason why you may be feeling different as your body moves into full-blown prediabetes is because your body is failing to produce as much insulin as you need. Insulin in necessary to transport glucose throughout the blood and into the cells, which is how your body maintains its energy level.
There are a few specific symptoms of prediabetes that are easy to spot if you know what to look for. Dark, rough skin patches called acanthosis nigricans often develop around the elbows or knees, and are an undeniable sign of prediabetes. Many people also feel tired, and excessively thirsty. Prediabetes can also cause more frequent urination, and blurry vision. Women who may have prediabetes are also vulnerable to polycystic ovarian syndrome, which will cause irregular periods and fertility problems.
Prediabetes can be detected through a blood test – ideally done twice, to confirm the diagnosis. There are a few different blood tests that doctors use. One is a simple analysis of drawn blood, but the other is called a fasting plasma glucose test and requires that the patient fast for eight hours before taking the test. Another test, called the oral glucose tolerance test, is generally used to confirm the final diagnosis. In an oral glucose tolerance test, the patient’s blood sugar level is tested two hours after a sugary drink is consumed.