Changing eating habits and beginning an exercise program has been proven to be an effective method of preventing pre diabetes. Also called impaired-fasting glucose, pre-diabetes is reversible; that is, sugar levels can be returned to normal with medication, diet, and exercise, meaning that a diagnosis means you can do something to ward off impending, full-blown diabetes.
But, what exactly is pre-diabetes? It is the precursor to developing type 2 diabetes and refers to higher than normal glucose content in the blood.
Diabetes prevention is possible. If you are preconditioned to developing diabetes because of your genetic background, age, or weight, you will be happy to know that you may be able to delay or stop the onset of the disease. Persons whose ethic background includes African, Native American, Latino, and Asian are particularly prone to developing diabetes. If you belong to one of these groups and are older than forty-five, you should get tested for pre-diabetes or diabetes.
Doctors can tell if you are pre-diabetic by performing two standard tests, namely the fasting test (FPG – Fasting Plasma Glucose) and the glucose tolerance test (OGTT – Oral Glucose Tolerance Test). The results of these tests will confirm whether you have pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or if you are diabetes-free.
The FPG test is normally done in the morning, and the patient is advised not to eat anything after 10 PM the previous night. A higher-than-normal reading for the FPG is an indication that you have been insulin resistant for a while.
OGTT, the glucose tolerance test, is used to measure your blood glucose level after an overnight fast, but unlike the FPG, you are also given a glucose drink two hours after the test. Your blood glucose levels are then checked two hours later; if the range is between 140 and 199 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), you will be considered pre-diabetic. These levels are also an indication that you may develop type 2 diabetes later on.
If you are tested positively as having pre-diabetes, it is important to take annual tests so that you catch developed diabetes in its early stages. Early diagnosis is the easiest way to get the disease under control before too much damage has been done to vital organs.
Preventing pre-diabetes is possible with a change of diet and an increase in activity level. Thirty minutes of moderate activity coupled with weight loss is recommended by the American Diabetes Association as the best way of minimizing your risk of becoming pre-diabetic. Even if you aren’t in the category of people that are more predisposed to pre-diabetes or diabetes itself, proper health care and physical activity are important regardless.