Prediabetes is a red flag to avoid diabetes
Recently, I had the pleasure to teach a husband and a wife team about diabetes. The man already has this diagnosis. The wife has relatives with diabetes and wants to avoid it.
It takes two fasting blood glucose readings of more than 126 or one reading more than 200 to verify the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Often a physician will declare that a patient has prediabetes. This is a warning to a patient. The red flag of danger is hoisted.
Doctors used to call prediabetes “a touch of sugar” or “borderline diabetes.” This more descriptive term of prediabetes gives the patient an opportunity to non-diabetes, but studies show that less than 25 percent of those with prediabetes actually take it seriously.
A prediabetic state never has to develop into diabetes. Achieving a normal glucose (glucose and sugar are words for the same thing) level decreases the risk of a full blown case of diabetes according to the Diabetes Prevention Program published in the Lancet medical publication.
Nearly 2,000 patients without diabetes were divided into groups who took medication, changed their lifestyle or given a placebo. During this seven-year study, the results revealed that avoiding high blood glucose readings reduces the incidence of diabetes.
Patients who achieved at least one reading of a fasting blood glucose below 100 had a 56 percent lower risk of the progression of the disease. The more morning blood sugar numbers that were within normal limits, the less likely the patient had of acquiring the diagnosis of diabetes.
This research is not new. Prediabetes is a red flag. As mentioned previously, less than a quarter of the people who receive this warning of pending diabetes do anything about it.
The wife of the couple that I talked to about diabetes heard the warning. She is making lifestyle changes to keep herself as healthy as possible. In return, she remains diabetes free. She likes to say that she has “non-diabetes.”
Instead of having a “touch of sugar” she has a “touch of muscle.” Instead of borderline diabetes, she has a borderline body weight. It isn’t ideal, but it is a lot better that it used to be.
Emotional stress caused by worrying affected her blood sugar levels. She has taught herself how to laugh more and fret less. Her faith and a new hobby of scrapbooking have helped her to redirect emotions for the sake of a positive blood sugar reading.
The husband of this couple has been making changes also. He knows that improved weight, activity and emotional stress can possibly decrease the amount of medication that he takes for diabetes.
Teamwork is important in the success of dealing with any chronic condition. Prediabetes responds well to teamwork.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville. Contact her at email@example.com or 330–684-4776.