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PREDIABETES: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

    Diabetes mellitus is a very prevalent condition in the world and, considering the lifestyle of the majority of the population, the trend is to continue with the growth in the number of cases. In fact, before an individual has established type 2 diabetes, there is a condition called prediabetes. This condition is not a disease in itself, but it greatly increases the risk of developing the criteria for diagnosis.

    So how do you know if a person has prediabetes? Once detected, is there anything that can be done to ward off the risk? Know more!

    What is prediabetes?

    First of all, it is necessary to make it clear that prediabetes is not a disease, but a risky condition. So, when we say that a person is prediabetic, it means that his body has conditions that increase the predisposition for the establishment of diabetes itself.

    To understand better about this, we will first explain what are the factors that lead to the development of conditions. Diabetes represents a metabolic state in which blood sugar levels remain high.

    The big problem with this is that glucose needs to be captured from the bloodstream and transported into the cells in order to produce energy for the body. Insulin is a hormone produce by the pancreas and has the function of carrying out the transport in question.

    In type 1 diabetes , there is a global destruction of insulin-producing cells and, therefore, treatment requires application of the hormone. On the other hand, in type 2 diabetes the body acquires resistance to the action of insulin over the years.

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    In other words, as resistance is establish. it requires more and more insulin to meet the needs. Here, the producing cells go into exhaustion and end up degenerating.

    In view of this, we conclude that prediabetes is the condition in which insulin resistance is present, but blood glucose levels have not yet reached the established criteria to close the diagnosis as diabetes.

    What are the risk factors for prediabetes?

    The risk factors for the condition of prediabetes are the same as those seen in diabetes, such as:

    • family history;
    • aging;
    • overweight;
    • sedentary lifestyle;
    • metabolic syndrome.

    When we talk specifically about obesity, we are dealing with an accumulation of fat that doesn’t just happen in the subcutaneous, that is, in the layer just below the skin. In fact, the risk is associated with central fat, also called visceral fat, present in the organs.

    In addition to impairing their function, adipose tissue releases substances called inflammatory cytokines. Their big problem is to increase insulin resistance even more.

    In addition, when we talk about metabolic syndrome, we are referring to two main conditions: arterial hypertension and dyslipidemia — altered cholesterol levels.

    Understanding their relationship to prediabetes requires an analysis of what happens in the blood vessels. When glucose levels remain high, there are changes in the vessel wall, called endothelial dysfunction.

    This condition contributes to the development of arteriosclerosis, which reduces blood flow and, in advanced cases, causes organ failure. As in hyperglycemia, arterial hypertension and dyslipidemia create a favorable environment for the development of endothelial dysfunctions, being, therefore, risk factors.

    How to identify prediabetes?

    You must be wondering how to identify the manifestations of prediabetes. In fact, it is an asymptomatic condition, that is, symptoms begin to appear when diabetes is already  establishe.

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    Therefore, the main way to make the diagnosis is based on laboratory tests, which the health professional can request in the event of a suspicion or the presence of risk factors.

    Fasting blood glucose

    The fasting blood glucose test is performe after taking a blood sample, with the individual fasting for at least 6 hours. Generally, blood glucose in healthy people is less than 100 mg/dL. On the other hand, in diabetics it is equal to or greater than 126 mg/dL. Therefore, if the value is between 100 and 126 mg/dL, a diagnosis of prediabetes is make.

    Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)

    Technologist hold 3 time blood sample for OGTT(oral glucose tolerance test), diagnosis for hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia in Diabetes Mellitus (DM).Medical testing concept

    Unlike fasting blood glucose, OGTT does not require fasting to perform. Upon arrival at the laboratory, a blood sample is taken and blood glucose is checked. Soon after, 75 grams of glucose are ingested and, 2 hours later, another sample is taken. Prediabetes is diagnose if the value obtain is between 140 and 200 mg/dL.

    Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c)

    Glycated hemoglobin – performed on a blood sample that is extracted from a vein in the arm.

    Although it is a more used test for monitoring diabetes, glycated hemoglobin can also suggest prediabetes. In this case, an indirect measurement of glucose is make, through the evaluation of hemoglobin, a protein present in red blood cells.

    Unlike the tests presented above, HbA1c seeks to portray the glycemic status of the most recent 3 months rather than a point in time. In short, if the value is between 5.7% and 6.5%, it is suggestive of prediabetes.

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    How to avoid the condition?

    Once detected, there is a way to prevent progression to diabetes: by fighting the risk factors. Considering obesity, sedentary lifestyle and dyslipidemia, the best way to stay away from diabetes is to adopt a balanced diet and start physical activities.

    In order to obtain more effective results, it is ideal to look for professionals capable of adapting your profile to the goals. Therefore, a nutritionist would prepare a food plan considering their routine, aligning with their expectations and improving adherence.

    Likewise, the professional specialized in the chosen physical activity would be able to plan a more effective approach. It is worth mentioning that the activity chosen must correspond to what is most interested. Thereby making it pleasurable and also with greater adherence.

    Finally, it is worth highlighting the fight against smoking. There are substances present in the composition of tobacco that cause endothelial dysfunction, as we have warned in other risk factors. By quitting smoking, you decrease your risk not only of diabetes, but also of a host of cancers and other harmful conditions.

    Finally, we conclude that in order to avoid progression to diabetes, it is necessary to be aware of the conditions that increase its predisposition. Pursuing healthy lifestyle habits is the right way to fight prediabetes. As well as changing habits , it is necessary to keep track of blood glucose values. Also consulting a specialist and performing periodic exams .

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