Prediabetes: Nature’s good warning sign?
Prediabetes warning sign. Considering the prevalence of diabetes in Singapore, it is not surprising for one (or one’s family members) to be diagnosed with prediabetes first. Prediabetes is the condition where one’s blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered as diabetes. It is very common for most people to pass through the prediabetes stage before suffering Type 2 diabetes.
Depending on how you see it, prediabetes can be a curse or a blessing. A curse in that it clearly shows where your body is heading towards, if you continue the current course of unhealthy lifestyle habits. Overt diabetes brings on a slew of serious medical conditions such as blindness, kidney failure or feet problems.
Or it can be a blessing in that it is a very timely and clear warning sign from your body to do a full about-turn in your lifestyle, to avert full-blown diabetes. Obviously, if you are smart, you should take this warning very seriously and act on it immediately.
The good news is that prediabetes is reversible or is at least more manageable than full-blown diabetes. Most prediabetic people have a few short years before overt diabetes sets in fully. By adjusting your lifestyle with healthier habits and choices, one can literally reverse prediabetes or at least keep it at bay.
Having blood tests done is the only accurate and reliable way to diagnose prediabetes properly. The two common ones are the fasting glucose test, and the 2-hour plasma glucose level after oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Most general clinics and hospitals will offer one or both of these tests.
There are however some common symptoms that point to the possibility of prediabetes or even diabetes in a person. You should really take note if you encounter these signs:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Often feeling tired
- Excessive hunger
- Blurred vision
- Unexplainable weight loss
This article has been fact-checked by Dr Matthew Tan Zhen-Wei, an endocrinologist at Dr Matthew Tan Diabetes and Endocrine Care in Farrer Park Hospital