Pre-Diabetes: The wake up call

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Today, there are a number of diseases that can lead to lifetime of taking certain drugs. These diseases are called chronic diseases and they appear to be on a rise in this part of the world.

One of them is diabetes. It occurs when the glucose in the blood is too high. Glucose is the major source of energy in man and it can be gotten when the body breaks down the food we eat.

Diabetes has no cure, it requires life long management. Many people have come up with various drugs that can “cure” diabetes but all of them have failed.

There are different types of diabetes

1) Type 1: This type is autoimmune, it is not caused by any external risk factor. It is an Auto immune disease because The immune system itself attacks the cells needed for making insulin. This usually happens in children or young adults.

2) Type 2: This can be caused by many risk factors that will be discussed later. Type 2 diabetes is when the body cannot use insulin properly. It occurs at any age but is seen in older people.

Diabetes is preventable and easier to manage if it is detected early enough. There is a pre-diabetes stage, this stage is characterized by high blood sugar level but not to the extent of diabetes.

If its detected at this stage, then such person can escape diabetes. There are certain risk factors that lead to type 2 diabetes:

  1. a) Age > 45years
  1. b) Cardiovascular disease and family history of diabetes
  1. c) Obesity
  1. d) High density lipoprotein cholesterol < 35mg/dl and triglyceride > 250mg/dl
  1. e) Polycystic ovary syndrome
  1. f) Hypertension
  1. g) Sleep disorders
  1. h) Gestational diabetes (Diabetes in Pregnancy)

If you or anyone you know possesses any of the above risk factors, then a blood sugar test is necessary.

This screening is to ascertain if such a person is are at the pre-diabetes stage.

People who are at this stage can reverse the progression to diabetes by modifying their lifestlyes. Those who are not already at this stage also need to pay attention to these points.

The preventive process involves:

  1. a) Healthy eating: You need to develop the habit of eating good food. Eating fruits and vegetables is very important as well. Its important that you blend your diet adequately and not eat only carbohydrates but spice it up with proteins and vegetables.
  1. b) Regular exercise: Many persons who develop diabetes live a sedentary life. They do minimal physical activity and this is not beneficial to their health, Regular exercises ensure that we burn those extra calories so as to keep fit and trim.
  1. c) Lose weight: Obesity is a risk factor in the development of diabetes, so of you are obese, you should lose weight.
  1. d) If the risk of developing diabetes is very high, your physician may prescribe a medication on a short term basis.
  1. e) Cessation of smoking and excessive Alcohol intake.

Regular testing is important as it helps to gauge the effectiveness of the above steps.


Pharm. Chukwuekem Chijioke


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