WITH diabetes almost attaining epidemic proportions, it is essential to remain safe than sorry. The way to do is to keep an eye on the prediabetes stage in an attempt to stop one’s slide into full-scale diabetes. Prediabetes, as the name suggests, is the stage in which a person’s blood sugar level is elevated, but not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

The risk factors for prediabetes include sedentary lifestyle, age 45 or older, active smoking, family history, diabetes during pregnancy, excess body fat, chronic stress, a lack of quality sleep and poor dietary habits. Prediabetes typically has no symptoms, and is usually diagnosed with a blood test.

The key to warding off progression of prediabetes is a balanced approach to diet. People with prediabetes should choose foods that primarily comprise whole grains and consume healthier sources of protein, while avoiding trans fats.

Many popular drinks, fruit juices and flavoured milk that are marketed as ‘healthy’ are actually full of sugar, and must be avoided.

Moreover, active smokers have 30 to 40 per cent increased chance of acquiring diabetes. Stress management is also essential as stress causes the body to release hormones that may contribute to insulin resistance and worsen the condition.

Finally, exercise and weight-loss have proven effective in managing prediabetes.

One should remember that prediabetes is reversible. A positive test result is like an alarm bell going off. It should encourage people to make due lifestyle adjustments.

Maheen Kazmi
Multan

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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