PRE diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is above normal but not high enough to represent actual diabetes.
The complications of established diabetes are an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Cognitive decline, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as loss of vision, kidney disease, and limb amputation all contribute to the dizzying effects of sugar increases.
People with established diabetes also suffered during the pandemic. The death rates are twice as high in people with type 2 diabetes and 3.5 times higher in people with type 1 diabetes.
While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, type 2 diabetes, which is often referred to as a “lifestyle disease”, is often characterized by a latency period with borderline elevated sugar levels. This pre-diabetes condition can last for years, during which time both large and small blood vessels are damaged.
Pre-diabetes arises because of decreased insulin production and the body’s relative insensitivity to that produced. The pancreas tries to make more insulin and the liver is less removed from the circulation. The pancreas can’t keep up forever and at some point the sugar levels rise to those enough to formally diagnose type 2 diabetes. Between 5 and 10 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 12 months, although the phase can last a decade. While undiagnosed diabetes has many symptoms, pre-diabetes has no indicators.
Recent research has shown that people with pre-diabetes have a 42 percent increased risk of mental decline and more than twice the risk of vascular dementia. This is sobering news for a condition that the sufferer may not be aware of.
Pre-diabetes, if diagnosed, can also be viewed as a golden opportunity to bring sugar back into normal rather than increasing it to the level of type 2 diabetes. The competent authorities indicate that lifestyle measures can prevent three out of five cases of type 2 diabetes. Even a sleepless night is enough to influence the glucose metabolism (sugar). So it really is a healthy mind in a healthy body.
While routine services have no doubt been disrupted by the pandemic, I would urge people not to wait, feel stressed, or worry that they are more likely to catch Covid entering medical facilities. Prevention is always better than cure and it is important that we deal with serious conditions sooner rather than later.