Diabetes we know. But, What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes means that the blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) definition, it exists if the Fasting Blood sugar (FBS) is between 100 and 125 mg%. the Integrative Medicine definition, though, is a FBS above 85mg%. In fact, some experts prefer the FBS level to be around 75mg%.
According to an Indian study, the prevalence of Diabetes in the Indian population was
1.2% in 1971
12.1% in 2001
and 18% in 2013.
In the Normal population, average BMI (Body mass Index) was 21.8, in Prediabetics it was 23.5 and in the Diabetics it was 24.4. Thats right, 24.4. Now check your BMI!
Out of 20,000 Indian patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus , 60% had coronary artery disease (CAD).
In one study, 8% of the subjects had Diabetes and 12% had Prediabetes ( that is, according to ADA standards. We would consider the incidence much higher.). And other studies revealed similar figures. So it is clear that the number of Prediabetics far exceeds the Diabetics in a given population.
What is the Risk
A Prediabetic is not a Diabetic. So what’s the worry?
Well, it’s a huge worry.
An FBS above 92mg% can lead to the development of Overt Diabetes within 10 years.
A BSL ( Blood Sugar Level) of 155mg%, 1 hr after a meal indicated higher risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).
BSL greater than 83mg%, 2 hrs after a meal, indicates higher risk of Stroke.
HbA1C above 6% indicates higher risk of Kidney Failure.
Above 4.6%, risk of CVD doubles for every 1% rise in HbA1C, which measures blood sugar control over the preceding 3 months.
In a French study, people with Diabetic Retinopathy averaged an FBS of 130mg% and HbA1c OF 6.4% over a period of 9 years. While those without eye damage averaged an FBS of 108mg% and an HbA1C of 5.7%.
In another study of 45,000 people, Diabetic retinopathy rose significantly as the FBS rose above 115mg%, 2-hr GTT ( Glucose Tolerance Test) rose above 176mg% and the HbA1c rose higher than 6.3%.
Which means, DIABETIC COMPLICATIONS develop while the patient remains PREDIABETIC.
From all the above, the trend is clear. There is not a lot of leeway before complications start to appear. Conversely, it means that its not a very long way to go to get healthy again.
What To Do?
Start checking BSL, Insulin level and HbA1C early. In the teens if factors like Family History and Obesity exist.
See an Integrative Medicine Specialist close to you. As dramatically as blood sugar control deteriorates, Recovery can be just as dramatic.
Follow Healthy Living advice as in the post ‘What Should I Eat?’.
Be Informed. And Live Healthy!
Images courtesy Google Images.