The days of being told you have a "touch of sugar" or that your blood sugar is just a little "borderline high" are over. This relaxed attitude has lead to serious consequences for many who assumed "Why worry if I'm not there yet." Sadly, diabetes is frequently not diagnosed until complications appear. In an effort to get people to pay more attention, new lower cut-offs for pre-diabetes have been established.
What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a new term used to describe blood sugars which are elevated but not high enough to be diagnostic of diabetes. It is estimated that nearly 42 million Americans over the age of 40 have this new diagnosis. Pre-diabetes is diagnosed when your fasting blood sugar falls between 100-126 mg/dl.
If untreated, a majority of those with pre-diabetes will develop diabetes within 10 years. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and a long list of other serious complications.
A more immediate concern is that pre-diabetes increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart disease by 50 percent. With the new lower threshold, it is hoped that more cases of pre-diabetes will be detected early enough so there is time to turn things around.
Pre-diabetes can be diagnosed with either a fasting blood sugar test or an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) which is when blood sugars are measured two hours after drinking a glucose- (sugar) containing solution.
|BLOOD SUGAR TEST||Normal||Pre-Diabetes||Diabetes|
|Fasting Plamsa Glucose||<100 mg/dl||100-126 mg/dl||127 mg/dl|
|2 Hour OGTT||<140 mg/dl||140-199 mg/dl||200 mg/dl|
Testing for diabetes and pre-diabetes is recommended at three-year intervals beginning at age 45. Testing should be done more often or at an earlier age in those with known risk factors for diabetes. Having a yearly physical will allow your doctor to screen you for known risk factors and provide an opportunity to do important lab work which can detect problems in advance.
GOOD NEWS !!
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Key elements for preventing diabetes and staying healthy are - Simple lifestyle changes -- including healthier diets, regular exercise (30 minutes five times per week) and a modest weight loss of five to seven percent. And you can cut your chances of getting diabetes by almost 60 percent.
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