Pre-Diabetes: Borderline Diabetes

by humagaia

Prediabetes: a condition where blood glucose (blood sugar) has risen above the norm for an individual, indicates that insulin function is impaired: the precursor to diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is the stage before contracting diabetes itself. It could be classified as borderline diabetes, in that the measurement of diabetic blood sugar levels does not show them to be outside the normal range. However, the readings may be outside the normal range for the individual. The only way to tell, is to monitor readings on a regular basis. When you see a gradual increase above your base blood glucose norm, then it is time to consider if prediabetes is upon you, and for you to consult your doctor or medical team.

What Is Pre-diabetes?

Good question.

The first thing to say is that many of us are predisposed to diabetes. What this means is that the genetic make-up of many of us predetermines that, under the right (or is that, wrong?) conditions, we are susceptible to contracting diabetes.

I suppose, under these conditions, everybody that is predisposed to diabetes, is pre-diabetic. But that is not the condition prediabetes.

Prediabetes is when your body begins to have difficulty processing blood glucose. At this point the diabetic blood sugar range is within the bounds that would associated with a non-diabetic condition, but it is higher than the normal range for the individual. With prediabetes there is a gradual increase in the blood sugar range, but not to the extent that diabetes would be diagnosed.

It is only each individual that can tell if their blood sugar level is out of the normal range for them. The only way to determine that you are prediabetic is to monitor your blood sugar levels on a regular basis, and keep a record of the results. Only by doing this can you see when it rises over a period of time.

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When it is on the rise over a period of time, then you can assume that prediabetes is a likely prognosis. This is the time to re-evaluate your lifestyle (if not before), and to consult your medical team (if not before).

Diabetes Testing

The only way to monitor for the onset of prediabetes

The only way to test for prediabetes is to test for diabetes. The same blood glucose monitors are used. Whereas for diabetes you would be testing that your diabetic blood sugar levels are within tolerance, i.e. between ~ 70 to 130 [(US), ~ 4 to 7 (UK)], for prediabetes you are monitoring for changes over time.

If you know that it is likely you are predisposed to contracting diabetes, for instance when other members of your family have the condition, then it is sensible to monitor your blood condition on a regular basis.

Keeping a record of your weekly or monthly glucose measurements is essential to determine if or when an increase is noticeable. Testing should always be done under the same conditions each time. That is to say, at the same time of day, after a similar meal, taken at the regular time.

Food digestion has an impact on blood glucose readings. You will see an increase in the numbers after a meal, and a lowering after fasting, i.e. overnight, but before your first meal of the day.

Your normal average blood glucose level may be 5.7, two hours after a meal. If you take measurements regularly at the same time, and under the same conditions, then a sustained increase to 6.1, for instance, might be an indication that blood sugar is not being processed as efficiently as previous. This could indicate the onset of prediabetes.

Borderline Diabetes

The diagnostic thresholds for diabetes look, at first glance, clear and complete. Yet there is an interim area in which blood-sugar levels are borderline. This used to be called border line diabetes but is now better classified as pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is where a higher than usual blood-sugar reading is present. This increase may not have been registered yet. You may not have had a blood-glucose test. So you may be in the pre-diabetes stage without knowing it. Everybody should have regular blood-glucose tests to determine that blood-glucose levels in the bloodstream are within the normal parameters.

The in-between numbers that are recorded in pre-diabetes are considered to be a distinct condition known as 'impaired glucose tolerance', or IGT. This indicates that your cells are becoming insulin resistant.

At this point you should consult your medical team to see what they suggest as a means to mitigate the condition. If diabetes can be thwarted at the prediabetic stage, then this is the best result for all concerned. It may be that the condition can be controlled with diet, weight loss and exercise. A much better outcome than medication in tablet form, or insulin injections. It may be that simply reducing your cholesterol level is beneficial.

Pre-Diabetes: Do I Have Diabetes?

Diabetes is when blood glucose processing is impaired to the point where measurements for glucose levels in the blood show outside a predetermined range.

Pre diabetes is considered to be the start of blood glucose processing impairment.

Being aware that prediabetes is present is the best chance to minimize the chances of diabetes occurring. It is your chance to put in place a regime of dietary changes and exercise that halts (and maybe reverses) the condition.

Of course the most best way is to implement that regime BEFORE pre-diabetes is found to be present.

Previous Diabetes Article

Diabetes types consist of: gestational diabetes; diabetes mellitus with three versions diabetes mellitus 1, diabetes mellitus 2 and type 3; pre-diabetes; and diabetes insipidus.
Updated: 03/08/2012, humagaia
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Veronica on 08/11/2016

This is an interesting article. I am not diabetic but I am pre diabetic. Last week, I was told that a few small changes such as eating whole-wheat pasta, rice and bread ( which make lower sugar spikes after eating than eating white ) , cutting down on wine and losing 7 pounds will help reduce my sugar levels.

Jolly times ahead...hey ho . :)

humagaia on 03/11/2012

L.E.A. medical insurance for you is the National Health Service to me. The clue is in the name - it is a service to cater for the National Health.
In the case of health insurance, I do not believe a vested interest will ever provide a preventative solution - you are stuck with maybe being assisted AFTER the event. It is only by the will of Government, at a macro level, with an holistic approach, that could ever undertake proactive schemes to PREVENT events.
In the UK there is afoot political intervention to change the Health Service. It needs changing for the better. To include more pre-emptive medicine. It does not need to change for the sake of change itself.
But that's a whole different issue, and one for a different Wizer, sometime.

lakeerieartists on 03/10/2012

@humagaia There are a lot of preventative measures that health insurance could pay for that they don't that would save money on medical costs in the long run. This is only one of them.

humagaia on 03/09/2012

Pre-diabetes has the same symptoms as diabetes. The only problem is that those symptoms are also a possible indication of other conditions. The sleepiness, for instance, could be a sign of sleep apnoea (is he overweight?, does he snore?, does he stop breathing when asleep?), and other blood disorders, or just being overweight.
Get him to test his pee with a urine test - simple and cheep, and he does not need to go to the doctor, unless the pee test shows abnormalities.

JeanBakula on 03/09/2012

It looks like you got your problem with your articles fixed. I have been moving pieces from HP, and I moved some back, they didn't do as well here. Are there any symptoms of Pre-diabetes? My husband seems tired all the time, and diabetes runs in his family. So does their stubbornness about seeing doctors, which could be dangerous in this case. Thanks for the facts.

humagaia on 03/08/2012

L.E.A. So many people are at this stage, it is scary. The problem is that Government are not taking the action that would alleviate a lot of the problem. If only they would supply diabetes monitors free of charge to every family. OK it would cost initially. OK many would still not use them. But consider, if just 1% or 2% were brought back from the brink of diabetes, how much money and misery that would save. And how much tax revenue it would bring in from those that could still work.
But then how many Governments have that kind of joined up thinking. Can't think of any myself!

lakeerieartists on 03/08/2012

I was getting close to this about two years ago, and thankfully pulled back from it with a diet change. It is scary though. Good resource.

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