What are the Risk Factors for Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is the condition of having consistently higher-than-normal blood sugar levels which are a precursor to developing full-blown diabetes. An estimated 79 million Americans are at risk of developing diabetes, yet only 11% even know they are at risk, according to a health official of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
By being aware that you have the first warning signs of prediabetes and making early changes to diet and lifestyle, it is possible to avert developing type 2 diabetes. Complications and health problems for those with diabetes include cadiovascular disease, kidney damage, circulatory problems, osteoporosis, nerve damage and reduced eyesight.
Scientists have not discovered why some people develop prediabetes, which leads to diabetes in 30% of cases, while others show no signs of the disease. However there are certain groups that are more likely to develop prediabetes than others.
"Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and American Indians are more likely to develop the disease, although type 1 diabetes is more common in Whites
"Those who are overweight and carry more fatty tissue are more likely to become insulin-resistant and develop type 2 diabetes
"Lack of physical exercise increases the prediabetes risk. It is thought that those who are physically active use up glucose as energy, which makes the cells more sensitive to insulin
"Family history is an indicator of type 2 diabetes. If you have a close family member with diabetes, you are more likely to develop prediabetes yourself
"The loss of muscle mass with increasing age seems to increase the risk of prediabetes
"High blood pressure (above 140/90mm Hg) is linked to an increased likelihood of diabetes along with low levels (below 35 mg/dL) of good HDL cholesterol
"High levels of triglycerides in the blood, defined as above 250mg/dL, are known to be a sign of increased risk of prediabetes
Prevention of Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
If you fit into one or more of these high-risk categories for developing prediabetes and diabetes, the next step should be changing your diet to lower glucose and the accompanying high insulin levels.
If you need to lose weight, a scan through the health implications listed above for diabetics should be a good incentive to get started, and increasing exercise to at least three times a week is always good for overall health.
Natural supplements such as cinnamon can be effective in reducing blood sugar levels before or after diabetes is diagnosed. According to a study reported in the Diabetic Medicine Journal, patients with type 2 diabetes who took 2g of cinnamon daily for 12 weeks had significantly lower blood sugar levels, as measured by the Hba1c presence in the blood. They also showed a moderate amount of weight loss and lower fasting glucose levels. Blood pressure levels were generally lower too, making cinnamon a recommended way to lower blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetics.
Cinnamon can be sprinkled on cereals and milky drinks, added to fruit smoothies and any baked goods, both sweet and savory. Zinc and chromium may also be beneficial in reducing blood sugar levels according to some studies, and the Ayurvedic herb "salacia oblonga" inhibits the enzymes that allow carbohydrate absorption, thereby lowering overall blood sugars.