Could you be prediabetic and not know?

Has your weight been creeping up on you over the years and is proving difficult to shift – despite your best efforts? Or maybe your energy levels are on the floor? It’s easy to push to the back of your mind. Surely, your food and lifestyle choices and not so bad that you could be prediabetic?

How common is it?

One in six people over the age of 40 is likely to have diabetes, with many more lurking in the grey area leading up to a diabetes diagnosis – prediabetes.

There’s no upside to having diabetes. This is what may lie in store for anyone receiving the diagnosis: risk of stroke, heart disease, visual disturbances and other eye problems like cataracts and glaucoma, higher risk of bacterial, fungal and yeast infections, high blood pressure, damaged nerves and blood vessels, and fatigue and lack of energy. Sadly, the list doesn’t stop there, being diagnosed with diabetes is not a good position to find yourself in.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood are higher than normal. There are two main kinds of diabetes (type 1 and 2). Both types involve insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling the level of glucose in the blood.

Type 1 diabetic patients do not produce sufficient insulin and therefore need to inject it (this type of diabetes is the rarer kind, and often develops at a young age).

Type 2 diabetic patients, produce insulin, but the cells become insensitive to it and so it fails to do its job properly.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for over 90% of all people with diabetes, and the condition usually develops later in life. This type of diabetes is far more strongly associated with diet and lifestyle factors.

How would I know I am prediabetic?

Diabetes is diagnosed by testing your blood sugar level. If your fasting plasma glucose level (FBG) is too high (above 7 mmol/l) or your oral glucose tolerance (OGTT) is above 11.1mmol/l, your HbA1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar levels) is above 6.4%, this represents a diagnosis of diabetes.

For prediabetes, a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal and that often leads to type 2 diabetes, your FBG might read between 5.5 and 7 mmol/l, your OGTT might be between 7.8 and 11.1 mmol/l, and your HbA1c might be between 6% to 6.4%.

It’s easy to dismiss the risk, but the shift into prediabetes can happen almost without your noticing it. You may experience niggling symptoms such as:

  • low energy
  • weight creeping up on you and is harder to shift

Common risk factors for prediabetes are these:

  • being are overweight
  • having a close relative – parent or sibling – who has a diabetes diagnosis
  • having high blood pressure
  • having low HDL (‘good’) cholesterol
  • being over 40
  • have given birth to a baby over 9 pounds

What to do if you think you could be at risk

It really is worth getting your blood sugar levels checked out. Once you know your numbers, you can do something about it and make a huge shift in all aspects of your health, including your weight. Whatever the tests say, I know that by making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, it is possible to prevent, control and, in some cases, reverse this condition.  With the right support up to 50% of cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed.

Your GP will be able to organise blood tests for you. You can also get tested privately. I offer a range of tests and can work with you to make manageable changes to your diet and lifestyle to get your health back on track.

You may have been told that you could fix this just by losing a little weight, but sadly this may have been the way you might have gone about this in the past simply we now know more about what drives diabetes and starving yourself to lose weight is not going to work anymore. It won’t miraculously change the numbers that came up in your test results.

What does work is a whole diet and lifestyle approach. I work with my clients to help them to understand what particular foods and lifestyle habits drive their blood sugar peaks.  Through this understanding I then provide guidance to make better food and lifestyle choices that help lower their blood sugar levels. The strategy we create together is tailored to you and no one else. What you like to eat, avoiding what you don’t like to eat, making changes at a speed that feels right for you to achieve your goals.

To find out more, why not use the following link to  book yourself in for a complimentary health review call and take the first steps to understanding if your symptoms could be due to prediabetes –