Treatment for Prediabetes

Here's the Right Treatment for Prediabetes You Should Know About

In a majority of cases, prediabetes progresses and leads to type 2 diabetes over a period of 2-3 years. However, the progression can be stopped or at least prevented from resulting in type 2 diabetes if the condition is treated effectively and timely.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018
The health condition in which the level of blood sugar is higher than normal but is not high enough to be categorized as diabetes, is medically termed as prediabetes. 'Impaired glucose tolerance' is another term to describe the same condition. The characteristic symptoms of this condition include a frequent urge to urinate, unusual thirst, extreme fatigue, and blurred vision. Majority of the cases suffering from prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes, over time. However, it is possible to halt or reverse the progression of prediabetes, or at least delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

Who is at Risk?

A person has a higher risk of developing prediabetes if he/ she
  • Has a family history of diabetes
  • Is more than 40 years of age
  • Is physically inactive
  • Suffers from obesity, and have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25
  • Has an HDL (high density lipoproteins) level below 35 mg/dL
  • Suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Has a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby that was over 9 pounds in weight
What are the Diagnostic Tests?

There are mainly two diagnostic tests for prediabetes, FPG and OGTT. Both tests require a person to fast for night long before the test.

FPG Test: A fasting plasma glucose test measures the blood glucose level of the individual in the morning, before eating anything. Normal fasting blood glucose level is below 100 mg/dl. In case of a person having prediabetes, it would be between 100-125 mg/dl.

OGTT Test: An oral glucose tolerance test is performed in two steps. It is first done to test the blood glucose level after fasting (preprandial). Then, the person is given a glucose-rich drink. After two hours, the test is repeated to measure the blood glucose level (postprandial).

What is the Treatment?

The objective of the treatment is to bring the blood sugar level back to normal. The efforts carried out to achieve this goal, aids in halting the progression of prediabetes into type 2 diabetes. The doctors generally recommend altering one's lifestyle and eating habits. A quick overview is given here.

Follow a Healthy Diet: The person affected with prediabetes should eat wholesome foods, that are low in fat and calories. A high fiber diet is great for such patients. Such a diet involves meals made from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Follow an Exercise Regime: Physical activeness is an important part of treatment. It works wonders towards bringing the blood glucose level to a normal limit. A patient should accomplish a minimum half hour of daily physical activity. There is no need to follow a rigorous exercise regime. Simple and moderate activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling will fulfill the requirement.

Lose Weight: According to studies, a reduction of 6-10% in body weight decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes to a great extent. If one eats healthy and exercises regularly, the excess weight can be easily shed.

Take Appropriate Medications: Medications such as Metformin and Acarbose, must be taken regularly. However, one must not self-medicate, instead ask one's doctor if it is safe for them to take these medicines. One must take them only if the doctor prescribes them.

Alternate Medicine: These include the ingestion of natural herbal remedies such as cinnamon, ginseng, glucomannan, guar gum, prickly pear cactus, and soy. But one must inform and consult with a doctor about eating any of these supplements, beforehand.

It is a fact that the prevalence of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are on a rapid increase. If prediabetes is left untreated, it is almost sure to progress further, and result in type 2 diabetes. Therefore, timely treatment is necessary to save the patient's health and life.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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