India is home to over a million people living with diabetes. This metabolic condition has become a growing health concern. There are different stages of diabetes, and the initial one is referred as pr
India is home to over a million people living with diabetes. This metabolic condition has become a growing health concern. There are different stages of diabetes, and the initial one is referred as pre-diabetes. This means that the blood sugar levels is higher than normal but not so high to be labelled under diabetes. However, it soon can lead to diabetes if not monitored regularly. With prediabetes, there is also a looming question of whether can it be reversed really?
India.com got in touch with an expert to unravel all these questions and truly comprehend the relation between diabetes and prediabetes. Dr Vidya Tickoo, Consultant Endocrinologist & Diabetologist, Yashoda hospitals Hyderabad, exclusively spoke to India.com and elaborated that, “Prediabetes is when the blood sugar levels are above the normal range, but still below the threshold of diabetes. Technically speaking, fasting blood sugar of 100-125 mg/dl, post glucose blood sugar of 140-199 mg/dl, HbA1c of 5.7-6.4 percent defines prediabetes.”
HOW CAN PREDIABETES LEAD TO DIABETES?
The importance of this stage is that if the risk factors for diabetes are modified at this stage, a person can achieve remission. But, at this stage also, the chances of developing complications due to diabetes start increasing. Hence, it’s very important to identify this stage and treat it appropriately.
CAN PREDIABETES BE REVERSED?
Prediabetes can progress to diabetes at around 5-10 percent each year. But if modifications are made, this rate slows down significantly and diabetes can be prevented for upto 10 years or even more. The most important factor for “reversal” or remission of diabetes or prediabetes is modification in diet and physical activity. Dr. Tickoo emphasises on three important lifestyle changes to make:
- Weight loss of upto 7 percent also with these measures helps in lowering blood sugar levels. So,
- Food which is less in carbohydrates and high in protein is very important. Reducing the quantity of rice / wheat and adding greens and salads and proteins into our diet goes a long way in reducing blood sugar levels and weight as well.
- Add atleast 30-40 mins of moderate-intensity physical activity also helps in managing weight. This includes brisk walking/ jogging/ swimming etc, and also 2 days of resistance exercise like weights.
If someone is unable to lose weight by these methods, there are medicines which have shown benefit in reducing the rate of progression from prediabetes to diabetes. It’s very important to maintain the weight loss in order to reap the benefits of “reversal of diabetes”. If someone gains back the weight that was lost and goes back to not maintaining the modified food and exercise habits, sadly, the prediabetes or diabetes can again reappear. So , it’s a continuous process of self-discipline that leads to remission of diabetes.