Preventing the Progression of Prediabetes to Type 2 Diabetes

By HealthSignz | Published: July 7th, 2016

Featured Video Play Icon

Those whose blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet in the diabetic range have ‘prediabetes.’ Depending on the test used to diagnose it, doctors also refer to this condition as impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Usually, prediabetes has no symptoms and people may have either IFG or IGT or both conditions for several years without noticing anything. This group has a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease.

Factors that reduce the risk of becoming prediabetic:

  • Making healthy food choices
  • Personal habits (routine, diet, lifestyle)
  • Weight control and management
  • Regular exercise and physical activity
  • Regular blood glucose monitoring (every 2 months if borderline)

Exercise:

  • Exercise increases the secretion of insulin and enhances metabolism,
  • Physical activity increases the utilization of glucose by the peripheral tissues in the body
  • Taking professional help from fitness experts during the prediabetes phase can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes
  • Losing a small amount of weight: (5-7% of total body weight) through 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week and healthier eating can prevent type 2 diabetes

Diet:

High calorie diets increase the blood glucose levels rapidly even when insulin production is normal. Consult a nutritionist to design a personalized meal plan for you.

  • Eat regular meals every 4-5 hours to control blood sugar
  • Avoid fatty and fried foods. Eat meats that have little fat
  • Choose dairy products that have little or no fat or cream
  • Eat baked, boiled, steamed or grilled food or food that has a low glycaemic index
  • Eat zero or low sugar, high fibre foods like vegetables, dried beans, fruits, and whole grain breads and cereals
  • Avoid foods with a high glycaemic index (sugared breakfast cereals, aerated drinks, flavoured fruit juices, cookies, pastries, candy, desserts)
  • Reduce the intake of rice (white/brown) and increase the portion of vegetables

Blood Glucose Monitoring:

Fasting plasma glucose: 100-130 is hyperglycaemic but not diabetic

Post prandial (lunch): >100-200 is hyperglycaemic but not diabetic

*Physical activity and dietary control is suggested and the test is repeated after 4-6 weeks or within 2 months. Value above 125 consistently may indicate diabetes

Glycosylated Hb: 5.6-6.5 or even 6.5 is hyperglycaemic but not diabetic

*Retesting is not recommended before 3-4 months

* Test 2-4 times in a year for regular monitoring

Other Tests:

  • Plasma lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, LDLs)
  • Blood pressure

Stress Management:

Managing stress is key to avoiding diabetes. Unmanaged stress leads to an excess consumption of unhealthy foods and obesity, which increases the risk of lifestyle related diseases like diabetes. Focus on establishing a work-life balance, especially if you are in a high-pressure job.

Conclusion:

Ensure that you take care of yourself as consistently high blood glucose levels may lead to diabetes. Advanced diabetes triggers severe complications like diabetic ketoacidosis (free fatty acids increase due to under utilization of glucose by the peripheral tissues in type 2 diabetics) and diabetic hyperosmolar coma (intracellular dehydration leads to heart failure and even coma predominantly in type 2 diabetics).

About the author

HealthSignz

We are a team of professionals with a significant level of expertise spanning multiple disciplines for over four decades. Identifying health and wellness as the primary factors that drive liveliness in individuals, lead to the integration of our knowledge with our common values – the result is HealthSignz (HS). Driven by passion to contribute to the advancement of the happiness quotient and well being of communities as a whole, we are here to touch as many lives as possible by enriching them with HS.