Prediabetes is a condition when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Glucose is a form of sugar which your body uses for energy. Too much glucose in your blood stream can damage your body over time.
What are the types of tests done to diagnose Prediabetes?
Depending on the test used to diagnose it, prediabetes is also called:
Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) – It is a condition in which the blood glucose level is high (110mg/dl to 125 mg/dl) after an overnight fast, but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) – It is a condition in which the blood glucose level is high (140 to 199 mg/dl) after a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test, but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
What do I need to do after getting my tests?
A person may test positive for both of the above tests.
• If the results are normal, you should be re-tested in 3 years if you at risk of develping pre-diabetes. This means if you are overweight, above 40 years and physically inactive.
• If you are diagnosed as pre-diabetic, you should be tested for Type-2 diabetes every year.
What problems am I likely to face if I am diagnosed as pre-diabetic?
• You are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in 10 years’ time after being diagnosed as pre-diabetic.
• You are at increased risk of developing heart diseases and stroke.
What precautions should I take after I am diagnosed of prediabetes?
Since prevention of diabetes is obviously better than being diagnosed with it, it is recommended to remain proactive towards taking care of your health.
• Test yourself for Type-2 diabetes every year or two.
• If you are overweight (that is BMI over 25) – you can reverse pre-diabetic state through weight loss. Make healthy eating and physical atcivity a part of your routine.
• By losing at least 5 to 10% of your starting weight—one can prevent or delay diabetes or even reverse pre-diabetes.
What increases my risk of being Pre-Diabetic?
Diabetes and weight loss are directly proportional.
• Being overweight, physically inactive and above the age of 40 greatly increases your risk. In such cases your doctor may recommend you get yourself tested for prediabetes.
• Exercise for diabetes is one of the most evident ways to manage healthy blood sugar.
Preventing diabetes is possible by maintaining a physically and mentally healthy routine. But even then awareness about the following is important.
Other factors that increase your risk even if you are younger than 40 years are if you:
• Have a parent, brother, or sister who has Diabetes.
• Have high blood pressure.
• Have abnormal levels of HDL cholesterol, triglycerides or LDL cholesterol.
• Have had gestational diabetes—diabetes during pregnancy.
• Have polycystic ovary syndrome (condition in women)
• Have blood vessel problems affecting your heart, brain, or legs.
A person who is at risk of being pre-diabetic should get themselves tested every 3 years.
South Indian food options are often high in Glycemic Index, as most are have rice as their base. However, when eaten in controlled portions at a restaurant is not so hard to choose from for a Diabetes Patient. Here is our take on it.
All food items in this South Indian menu guide are chosen on the basis of being:
Comparatively lower in calories & fat than other food items in the menu
Low GI foods ( Glycemic Index)
Cooked through healthy methods.
High in fiber and protein
Make sure you control your portions and personalize your plate, as per the needs by asking at the restaurant.
Vegetable Upma (Rava /Suji based)
High GI foods can be enjoyed once in a while, if eaten in small portions
Small plain dosa – Without butter and without filling
At the heart of diabetes management is regular monitoring of your sugar levels. Besides checking your HbA1c levels, sugar monitoring with a home use glucometer is a must. You may use a simple glucometer or the newer and more technologically advanced mobile based glucometer. These smartphone glucometers attach via the audio port of your phone and allow you to save your readings, view trends and analyses, set reminders, share readings in addition to other such useful features for diabetics.
For checking your blood sugar at home your diabetic kit must include the following:
Blood glucose test strip as recommended by your glucometer manufacturer
Diabetes test strips are the only recurring cost a person with diabetes needs to incur to continue testing.
Here are some GENERAL TIPS for using test strips:
Never re-use test strips
Do not leave strips in direct sunlight or humidity
Do not bend strips
Always wash hands before using strips to ensure blood glucose levels are not affected by contamination
Always dispose used test strips carefully in a sealed pack
FREQUENCY OF TESTING AND NUMBER OF STRIPS REQUIRED PER MONTH
You must always first ask your doctor or medical practioner for how often you should test. Here are some general guidelines and the average number of strips you will require per month.
Gestational Diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, needs you to be extremely vigilant to ensure health and safety of baby and mom. You may be asked to check your blood glucose as often as 3-4 times a day.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER STRIPS needed per month = 120
2. Insulin dependant or Type 1 diabetes also requires a diabetic to check sugar levels 3-4 times a day to determine amount of insulin he/she needs.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER STRIPS needed per month = 120
3. Newly diagnosed diabetics will usually check more often than long time standing diabetics in order to understand how their blood sugar affects their health and how diet and exercise affect their sugar levels. Here you are likely to be checking at least 2-3 times a week.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER TEST STRIPS needed per month = 12
4. Drug or medication induced diabetes is called secondary diabetes that may occur due to taking certain medication or may be a consequence of having other health conditions. In such cases, a person needs to take extra care and monitor sugar levels as often as 3-4 times a day. Here, diabetes may go away on stopping medication or may be permanent depending on what other health condition the patient has.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER TEST STRIPS needed per month = 120
5. Long standing Type 2 diabetics usually need to check blood sugar no more than 2-3 times a week. This may vary if your diabetes is uncontrolled, if you are travelling or have an illness or any other medical condition.
TOTAL NUMBER OF GLUCOMETER STRIPS needed per month = 12
One can calculate the cost you will incur based on number of test strips you are likely to use per month.
An individual requires physical activity for overall well-being. However, a person with diabetes needs to work out to keep his sugar levels in the safe range. Gyms are the ideal place for a diabetic person due to the wide range of equipment’s available. However, there are certain aspects to be thought of when a diabetic person plans to gym.
The Benefits of Gym
Since weight gain is one of the major factors for Type 2 Diabetes, exercising should be part of your daily routine. In fact, people already diagnosed with diabetes have controlled their sugar levels by including physical activity in their lives.
Reduces stress and anxiety
It is a fact that sugar levels can be affected due to different emotions. Experiencing different emotions like anger, frustration and fear are common in diabetes. This leads to stress and anxiety causing fluctuations of sugar levels in the body. In fact, it has been found out that HbA1c levels are associated with stress, anxiety and displeasure. Exercising alleviates stress and tension and helps to boost up energy, both physically and emotionally.
Promotes better sleep
According to a research, people who don’t sleep well are likely to develop diabetes or heart complications. Sleep plays an important factor in managing sugar levels. In fact, it causes a spike or decrease in sugar levels. The interesting part is that not only lack of sleep affects the blood sugar; too much sleep can also cause fluctuation in the sugar levels.
Improves insulin sensitivity
Exercising has been known to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity. In fact, it is the best method to improve the insulin sensitivity. During exercise, the body burns glycogen, a form of glucose present in the body muscles. The more glycogen is burned, the longer the insulin sensitivity is improved.
To improve the insulin sensitivity, exercising should be regular too. However, also be sure of the physical activities you do to keep yourself active. Different activities affect sugar levels differently. For example, activities such as sprinting can increase the sugar levels at start. However, it comes down if the session is long. By contrast, jogging or brisk walking are likely to decrease sugar levels.
Prevents heart diseases
According to a study, statistically there is no difference between those who were given medications to prevent heart diseases and those who exercised. In fact, people who have suffered with a stroke, physical activity have played a significant role in improving the condition.
The Risks of Joining A Gym
When exercising, diabetics should be extra careful so as to avoid fluctuation in sugar levels. The blood sugar can fluctuate amid, immediately after or even after hours of workout. Therefore, one should know about the various risks involved in joining gym with diabetes.
Hypoglycemia is a condition where the sugar levels are lower than normal. According to the numbers, low blood sugars mean blood glucose level going 70 mg/dl if measuring the whole blood and below 80 mg/dl if measuring plasma glucose.
Longer physical activity usually increases the chances of hypoglycaemia. The blood sugar goes down after a moderate to intense workout session and is often known as the “lag effect” of exercise.
The body uses two sources for energy, sugar and fatty acids. The sugar comes from the blood, liver and muscles and is stored in the form of glycogen. During the initial time, say first 15minutes of workout, most of the sugar for energy comes from the muscles or the blood. After that, most of the glucose comes from the liver. After 30 minutes, the body starts using fatty acids for energy. As a result, exercise depletes the sugar in the body. Even though the body recovers the sugar, it takes around 4-6 hours. The time can go up to 12-14 hours depending on the intensity of the workout.
Even though the former cases are usually common, sometimes the individual can experience hyperglycemia. Your sugar levels tend to increase if your blood sugar was high before workout. As after 30 minutes, the liver starts releasing sugar for energy. However, when the liver starts releasing excess of sugar and the body has too less insulin; your blood sugar levels will rise. In fact, the blood sugar rises if your body is stressed or worked too hard.
Steps you can take to prevent the risks
Always check your blood glucose before working out in the gym to make sure your blood sugar is sufficient and whether you should eat a snack or not.
Limit your workout session to 1-2 per day. Additional sessions can result in hypoglycemia.
Take proper rest on your rest days.
Exercise in gym should be in a time where the body has enough energy for the workout. Therefore, eating a carbohydrate based snack an hour before the exercise.
After your workout session, eat something to replenish the energy that you’ve spent.
In case, you are trying to lose weight you must be careful to ensure you don’t consume more.
Hypoglycemia is associated with physical exertion. Therefore, it is necessary to carry any two of the following in your gym bag:
What exercises should you be doing?
Aerobics is a form of exercise that is continuous and elevates heart rate and breathing. This includes jogging, walking, swimming or cycling. Aim for only 30 minutes of aerobics daily. In case, you find it difficult break it into chunks to feel comfortable. Gyms have aerobic classes for people who want a change in their workout session.
Due to elevated blood levels, the collagen (rubbery stuff that makes the joint move) becomes coated with sugar. This results in formation of sticky nets and losing flexibility. Stretching helps to break up the nets and become flexible. Moreover, stretching also releases dopamine which keeps an individual happy. Stretching is a simple way of improving the blood circulation in the body. This will help in better circulation of insulin to reduce sugar levels. Every gym would have an instructor that can help you for a stretching session.
It is known worldwide that regular yoga can reduce stress, anxiety and even sugar levels. Yoga is a one of the cost-effective keys of diabetes management. Since stress and diabetes go hand in hand, the benefits of yoga in diabetes care is necessary. Not only yoga improves blood pressure levels, it also helps in preventing weight gain which is another factor of Type 2 diabetes. Nowadays, every gym has yoga classes for people who are not able to do aerobics or not use the equipment’s.
Whilst the benefits of exercising have been discussed in various studies, the fluctuation of sugar levels during or post workout should also be considered. Therefore, regular monitoring is necessary for exercising. Moreover, good nutrition, sufficient sleep and relaxation are equally important. Therefore, consult your BeatO diabetes educator for proper nutritional guidance and counselling to manage diabetes.