Pre-diabetes, also known as metabolic syndrome, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), is an early sign that you may be at risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is a stage where there is high insulin levels, high triglycerides. low HDL (good) cholesterol, insulin resistance, a growing waistline and blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.
In other words, you are in the gray zone between “normal” and “diabetic”. You are a pre-diabetic if your blood glucose levels are between 5.6 mmol/l and 6.9 mmol/l.
Symptoms of pre-diabetes develop so gradually that most people affected by this condition often don’t recognize it until it is too late. At this stage, vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, arteries, nerves, eyes would have started to deteriorate due to the high insulin level in the blood caused by the body cells being insensitive to the insulin. People who are pre-diabetic have a 40% to 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years. A good percentage of pre-diabetic people are over 40 years of age.
Pre-diabetes is caused by a combination of a weakened secretion of insulin and reduced sensitivity of the body cells to insulin (insulin resistance). Insulin resistance occurs when the pancreas secretes normal amount of insulin to regulate sugar but the body cells do not respond.
If no preventive measures are taken to bring down the blood sugar level to a normal level, the pancreas would over a period of time becomes totally overworked and would be unable to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, resulting in your sugar levels rising to abnormally high levels. The excess sugar builds up in the blood would then spills over to the urine and passes out of the body and eventually, this would lead to type 2 diabetes.
Although pre-diabetes is a serious condition but it can be reversed by making modest changes in their daily routines such as increasing the level of physical activity, achieved a healthy weight and follow a healthy balanced diet by eating fewer calories. Take action to prevent it from progressing to full-blown diabetes as once you have it, there is nothing much you can do except that for the rest of your life you will have no choice but to change the way you eat and the way you live.