Prediabetes is not harmless and can lead to serious health complications, including obesity and vision loss.
By Dawn Flemming
About 1/3rd of Americans, or 84 million people, have prediabetes, at least according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, 90% of people who have prediabetes do not know that they have it.
Prediabetes is a stage in which one’s blood sugar (glucose) is higher than normal but not high enough to count as diabetes.
Because of the word “pre” in the term, many people are under the illusion that it is harmless. But this is not so. Prediabetes means that the body has some form of insulin resistance thus putting people at higher risk for obesity and chronic inflammation in the body. People who have prediabetes are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases.
It is well known that diabetes can cause blindness, but prediabetes can also cause significant vision deterioration. Cleveland Clinic writes:
Prediabetes can cause retinopathy, which is changes to the structure of the eye that can result in vision loss. Having retinopathy is the single biggest predictor for vision loss. But many people are unaware they have prediabetes. Most also don’t notice retinopathy developing until it’s well-advanced and their vision becomes blurry. But retinopathy has the best chance for treatment success if detected early and treated.
Prediabetes can also lead to fatigue and frequent urination which can seriously impede people’s quality of sleep. We know that poor quality of sleep can significantly reduce a person’s lifespan and increase their risk for cancer and other kinds of autoimmune diseases.
What are the symptoms of prediabetes?
Prediabetes usually doesn’t have signs or symptoms. However, some common signs include
In order to make sure whether or not you hav prediabetes, you may want to see your doctor and get your blood work done. If you find yourself to have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you may want to speak to your doctor on possible health options and lifestyle changes that can help. Some have recommend intermittent fasting and the keto diet as possible solutions for prediabetes.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.