The Importance of Prediabetes Screening

2024-02-09 18:30:36 0 By: Kritika Singh Times Read: 358
The Importance of Prediabetes Screening

Prediabetes is a critical phase that comes before type 2 diabetes – It’s when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classed as diabetes.

It also offers a valuable warning and a window of opportunity for you to adjust your lifestyle. By diagnosing prediabetes early, you can manage it and maybe even prevent it from progressing to type 2 diabetes.

How is prediabetes diagnosed, and how prevalent is it?

A common method for diagnosing prediabetes is a fasting blood sugar test, where your blood glucose level is checked after fasting overnight. Another possible test is the oral glucose tolerance test, where you’re given a sugary drink and then tested after some time to see how it’s affected your blood glucose level. There’s also an HbA1c test, which is a blood test that gives an idea of your average blood sugar levels over the last few months.

Studies have shown that around 10.3% of the population of India have prediabetes.

If left unmanaged, it can progress to full diabetes and bring a range of health complications. Global research has found that 25% of prediabetics progress to being type 2 diabetics within 3-5 years. 

The benefits of testing for prediabetes

Testing for prediabetes is important because it allows you to take preventative action as soon as possible. If detected in its early stages you can make lifestyle changes to address it. These could include changing your diet, doing regular physical exercise, and managing your weight.

The benefits of prediabetes testing aren’t just limited to lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also help identify other potential health risks associated with high blood glucose levels.

Prediabetes is closely linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. By diagnosing prediabetes early, you can manage other risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol. This will help support your heart health and reduce the chance of cardiovascular complications.

Prediabetes is also often part of a cluster of conditions known as metabolic syndrome (which includes high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat). By diagnosing and successfully managing prediabetes, you can support these connected health issues and improve your overall metabolic well-being.

Kidney complications are another problem that can be impacted by prediabetes. But by diagnosing it early you can take proactive steps (like staying hydrated and controlling blood pressure) to improve your kidney health.

Who should get tested?

While testing for prediabetes is beneficial for everyone, some people are at higher risk of diabetes and should prioritize getting tested.

You could be at high risk of prediabetes if you have:

 a family history of diabetes – If diabetes runs in your family, you may be at higher risk of developing prediabetes. Genetics can play a role in how effectively your body can manage blood sugar.

● a sedentary lifestyle – Being physically active reduces your chance of developing prediabetes. If you don’t move or exercise much as part of your daily routine, your body may become less sensitive to insulin (the hormone that helps glucose enter your body’s cells) and at higher risk of prediabetes.

● unhealthy eating habits – Diet plays a significant role in blood glucose management. If you eat lots of sugary or processed foods, or foods with a high glycemic index, you could be at higher risk of developing prediabetes.

Certain age groups and genders may also be at higher risk of developing prediabetes. Generally, men are at higher risk than women, particularly as they enter middle age and beyond.

However, even if you’re not considered at high risk, it’s still a good idea to get regular health check-ups and test for prediabetes. By catching it early, you give yourself the most opportunity to address it and improve your long-term health.

Final thoughts

Getting tested for prediabetes is an investment in your long-term health.

The earlier you identify prediabetes, the better your chance of successfully managing it and slowing or preventing it from developing into full diabetes. You’ll also decrease your risk of developing other health complications, like cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, or kidney complications.

With the prevalence of prediabetes in India today, it’s worth getting regular check-ups and testing for prediabetes even if you’re not considered at high risk. The tests to diagnose prediabetes are quick and easy and may help you improve your health for years to come.

Author Bio:

Kritika Singh is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of InDiabetes, a website that makes diabetes easy to understand, manage, and treat. Kritika is a type 1 diabetic, and has been managing her diabetes for over 15 years. She has a background in education, and is passionate about helping diabetics and diabetic primary caregivers increase their knowledge and improve their daily lives. 

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