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Are you prediabetic?

Fuelling Yor Body

BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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DON'T let the “pre” in the word prediabetes fool you, it is a serious medical condition.

I was speaking with a new client who recently discovered that she is prediabetic. She was happy to hear that nothing was wrong, after all it is only prediabetes. However, this is a drastic understating of what can be a life-destroying condition.

Fortunately, in part, as a new InteKai member she is making many positive life changes which will be invaluable for her wellness, and, of course, she regularly visits her physician. Sadly, in many societies as many as one in three adults have prediabetes and 90 per cent, or more, don't know it, and too many of those who do fail to see the health threat or the opportunity that early detection offers.

Prediabetes

Prediabetes, insulin resistance, impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, abnormal glucose, intermediate hyperglycemia — by any name it is identified by a fasting blood glucose level of 100 mg/dl or greater, but less than 126 mg/dl, which is the diagnostic level for diabetes.

Often, patients are told that this state “may lead to diabetes”, and it is precisely that term which lulls many to believe that everything is, in that moment, alright — but it isn't.

Diabetes is the highway to suffering, disability and death, and prediabetes is the freeway to suffering disability and death.

What makes prediabetes even more dangerous is, in most cases, it does not present itself with many symptoms. This makes it silent and potentially deadly.

A study conducted at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center revealed:

• Elevated blood sugar levels is known to impact hypertension (high blood pressure), putting prediabetics at increased risk for stroke.

• Twenty-one per cent of individuals with normal blood sugar levels showed signs of coronary artery disease, however, 36 per cent of prediabetics showed signs of coronary artery disease — very close to the 42 per cent of diabetics.

• Diabetes is known to result in the following complications which prediabetics have shown signs of developing: Kidney damage (nephropathy); nerve damage (neuropathy); vision damage (retinopathy).

Prediabetes may need no intervention other than lifestyle change. This may be the actual reason that it is seldom addressed with the seriousness it deserves.

For years it has been considered by some in the medical field of developing a risk, triggering concerns of overdiagnosis and potentially stressing the patient, burdening the insurance companies and the health care system. This leaves many individuals oblivious or living in complacency, often for many years, thereby increasing their chances of developing life-threatening conditions or type 2 diabetes.

The good news

Healthy lifestyle solutions can help you avoid prediabetic levels of blood sugar and can, in fact, help you lower your blood sugar levels.

Nutrition

Choose meals with little to no added sugars or simple carbohydrates, limited calories, low-fat unprocessed proteins, vegetables, and high fibre content.

Irregular eating, large meals — Not okay

You do not have to be overweight to be prediabetic — the issue is blood sugar levels, not fat levels. If you are overweight you are at an elevated risk. Even a few pounds of fat on your waistline increases your risk. Losing as little as 10 per cent of your body weight can make a difference.

Activity

At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise has been shown to prevent and manage elevated blood sugar levels. Any consistent exercise is better than none.

Always remember — being consistent is more important than being intense; just move, and move consistently.

Prediabetes can develop without warning, this is why it is important to visit your doctor regularly. Diabetes, however, has several warning signs. Some of them are:

• Excessive or increased thirst;

• Frequent urination;

• Unexplained weight loss;

• Fatigue;

• Blurred vision;

• Headache;

• Dry mouth.

Visit your physician regularly — early detection and medical support are key. Secondly, get support if needed. A nutritionist, dietician or diet coach will be an invaluable investment in the most important possessions you have — your life and your wellness.

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863-5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org


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