Before discussing the prediabetes symptoms, let us first know the meaning of prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition when blood sugar levels exceed normal limits but not yet categorized into type 2 diabetes. However, prediabetes sufferers may develop type 2 diabetes if they do not immediately change their lifestyle.
Prediabetes generally does not show any specific symptoms. However, in order to be more vigilant, someone whose blood sugar levels exceed the normal limit should know the prediabetes symptoms in people with type 2 diabetes, such as:
- Easily tired.
- Vision becomes blurred.
- Often feel thirsty and hungry.
- More frequent urination.
- Weight loss.
Causes of Prediabetes
Prediabetes occurs when sugar (glucose) begins to accumulate in the bloodstream because the body can not cultivate it properly. Glucose comes from food and will enter the bloodstream when food is digested. In order for glucose to be processed into energy, the body needs the help of the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas.
In prediabetes, the process is impaired. Glucose that should enter the body’s cells to be processed into energy, increasingly accumulate in the bloodstream. This happens because the pancreas does not produce much insulin, or because of insulin resistance, when the body cells can not use insulin properly. If this condition persists, blood sugar levels will continue to increase, so that people with prediabetes will have type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes Risk Factors
Risk factors in prediabetes are similar to risk factors for type 2 diabetes. This is because people with type 2 diabetes have previously experienced prediabetes. The risk factors, among others:
- Aged over 45 years.
- Too much consumption of soda, packaged food, red meat and sweet drinks.
- Physical activity is lacking.
- High cholesterol.
- Low birth weight.
- Have diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
- Suffered from PCOS.
Diagnosis of Prediabetes
There are three blood tests that are generally performed by a doctor to find out if a person has prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
1. Fasting blood sugar test (GDP)
Patients will be asked to fast between 8 to 12 hours before undergoing a blood test. Fasting blood sugar levels in patients are considered normal if they are below 100 mg / dL, and only enter prediabetes if the levels are between 100 to 125 mg / dL. Patients will be considered already in the condition of type 2 diabetes if fasting blood sugar levels above 126 mg / dL.
2. Oral glucose tolerance test (2 hours PP)
After a blood sample is taken for a fasting blood sugar test, the patient will be asked to drink sugar, then blood sampling will be done again two hours later.
Blood sugar levels can be said to be normal if the test results show less than 140 mg / dL, and only considered entering prediabetes conditions if the test results range from 140 to 199 mg / dL. While the results of tests that show sugar levels of 200 mg / dL or more already indicate the patient suffered from type 2 diabetes.
3. A1c hemoglobin test (HbA1c)
This blood test is performed to determine the average blood sugar levels in the last 3 months, by measuring the percentage of blood sugar attached to red blood cells. The higher the blood sugar level, the higher the blood sugar attached to the red blood cells.
The patient’s condition can be said to be normal if HbA1c levels are below 5.7%. New patients are considered to enter prediabetes if the HbA1c levels are in the range of 5.7 to 6.4%, and have already entered stage 2 diabetes if the HbA1c levels are 6.5% up.
Treatment for people with prediabetes is to start living a healthy lifestyle. In addition to normalizing blood sugar levels, a healthy lifestyle can also prevent prediabetes developing into type 2 diabetes.
Patients with prediabetes can start a healthy lifestyle by increasing physical activity. Choose a sport that is not too consuming, and do for 30 to 60 minutes several days a week. Exercise will make the body use glucose as energy so as to prevent the buildup of glucose in the blood and can lose excess weight. Reduced weight by 5 to 10 percent of overall body weight may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
At the same time, change the menu of foods that have been the cause of high levels of sugar in the blood, to the healthy diet. Choose foods high in fiber, but low in fat and calories, such as fruits, vegetables, and wheat. In addition, reduce alcohol consumption, limit salt intake to no more than 1500 mg per day, and also reduce sweet foods.
Consistent with healthy diet and exercise can make a person with prediabetes conditions achieve optimal weight and avoid the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, if patients are at high risk of type 2 diabetes, doctors will prescribe metformin. Doctors can also prescribe medications for other accompanying diseases such as high blood and high cholesterol.
Soon the people with prediabetes symptoms, if not treated promptly, prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes and other diseases, such as:
- Foot injuries are at risk of amputation.
- Coronary heart disease and peripheral arterial disease.
- Chronic renal failure.
- Eye damage and blindness.
- High cholesterol.
- High blood pressure.
- Hearing problems.