Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups. She is the author of the "The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.," and "The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Prediabetes". If you would like to learn more about Gretchen, or read her newsletter or blog visit http://www.nutritionxpert.com.
My private practice frequently connects me with people who have just been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. The interesting thing is a person may feel fine, or perhaps notice that they are a little more tired than usual. Often the person is having a routine medical checkup or sees their doctor for other complaints. After some lab tests or blood tests in the doctor’s office, the diagnosis is made: You have pre-diabetes!
Hearing these words can make people react in different ways. One person’s initial reaction may be worry about what to do next. Another person may be nonchalant and feel “it’s not really that bad!” Whatever the case may be, the person with a pre-diabetes diagnosis is faced with a medical condition that has the potential to be serious.
In order to know whether you have pre-diabetes or not, it is helpful to understand exactly what pre-diabetes means. The term pre-diabetes is used to describe the state between normal blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. At one time, physicians used to refer to pre-diabetes as “having a little sugar,” or “borderline diabetes.”
Fortunately, these terms are no longer used! Somehow having a little sugar does not convey the urgency or importance of taking steps to correct a potentially serious health issue!
The easiest way to find out if you have pre-diabetes is to get your blood sugar checked. For this test, you will have to fast overnight and have your blood drawn at the lab. A fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125 mg/dl is indicative of pre-diabetes. For the record, normal fasting blood sugar is between 70 and 99 mg/dl, and a fasting blood sugar greater than 125 mg/dl is indicative of diabetes.
If you have gotten a blood sugar reading in the pre-diabetes range (100-125 mg/dl), you should have the fasting blood sugar test repeated a second time to see if the result is still the same. If it is similar a second time, that is a confirmation of pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes may or may not have symptoms that accompany higher than normal blood sugar. Don’t assume that a lack of symptoms means that everything is fine. I have interviewed hundreds of people with the diagnosis and learned that many people had absolutely no idea that they had pre-diabetes. There may be no symptoms or merely a few “vague” symptoms.
Here are a few red flags that may possibly be a sign of pre-diabetes. You should see a doctor if you have any of these:
• increased thirst
• increased urination, particularly at night
• fatigue that does not improve, even with more sleep
• blurred vision that is not permanent
A person with pre-diabetes may go on to develop type 2 diabetes. While type 2 diabetes is a permanent condition, pre-diabetes is not. In fact, if the right steps are taken to treat pre-diabetes early, you may be able to reverse the condition and never develop diabetes at all!
The most important thing to know about pre-diabetes is that you cannot ignore it. If diagnosed, don’t believe that it will get better on its own or go away. Blood sugar levels that remain in the pre-diabetic range can cause complications that are associated with diabetes. Take positive steps to reverse pre-diabetes sooner rather than later. Learn how to get started with a healthy lifestyle plan that includes proper diet and exercise. A consultation with a Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator is a great first step!
Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups. She is the author of the "Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance at Health," and "The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Prediabetes". If you would like to learn more about Gretchen, or read her newsletter visit http://www.nutritionxpert.com.
This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com.