Pre-diabetes is also known as impaired glucose tolerance and it refers to a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but are not high enough to be classified as diabetes. It’s also been shown that before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have pre-diabetes. It is a serious condition because doctors have recognized the importance of diagnosing pre-diabetes as treatment of the condition may prevent type 2 diabetes as well as the complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

Some complications associated with diabetes include heart and blood vessel disease and eye and kidney disease and sexual dysfunction and its been shown that these complications begin to occur before diabetes is diagnosed.

People at risk of developing pre-diabetes include people with a family history of type 2 diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes or babies who weighed more than 4.5 kg at birth are also at risk. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome together with overweight and obese people (especially those with a lot of fat in the abdomen) are also at risk of developing pre-diabetes. People with high cholesterol, high fat levels and high blood pressure together with the aged are all at risk of developing pre-diabetes. Though most people with pre-diabetes have no symptoms at all, symptoms of diabetes may include unusual thirst, a frequent desire to urinate, blurred vision, or extreme fatigue. It is advised that people with more than one of the risk factors should do a fasting glucose test regularly to monitor his/her glucose levels. A fasting glucose test result between 6.1-7.0 mmol/l is indicative of pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes can be treated/prevented with some lifestyles modification. Regular exercise of at least 30 minutes daily would be very beneficial in preventing/treating pre-diabetes. If it is not possible to have a continuous exercise, it can be split into shorter periods over the day. Any enjoyable exercise such as walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, tennis, golf etc are appropriate. If the individual smokes or drinks alcohol such a person should stop this. And any person suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol should visit their doctors to receive treatment for this condition so as to reduce risk of developing pre-diabetes.

Consumption of a healthy diet is essential in managing and preventing pre-diabetes. Such a diet should be low in fats and oils. This is because of the high calorie content of the fats and oils. This means that soups such as palm and groundnut soup should not be eaten frequently. The same applies to use of margarine, cheese, salad cream and other spreads. In addition to this, soft drinks, alcohol, snacks and other sweetened beverages should be scarcely eaten. Fruits and vegetables should be the basis of the healthy diet. Pre-diabetes is a real condition and we should all monitor our glucose levels and live a healthy life.


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