We’ve been hearing a lot about this relatively new term called “pre-diabetes” in the past year. But what exactly is it? What are its symptoms? How different is it from diabetes? TOUCH Diabetes Support sheds light on the condition.
440,000 Singaporeans were diagnosed with diabetes in 2014 and the number is projected to go up to 1 million by 2050. The prevalence of diabetes among Singaporeans is staggering but we can better understand the condition and learn how to prevent or delay it.
So what's the difference between type 1, type 2, and pre-diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an immune reaction, mostly occurs in children and young adults, is usually inherited and cannot be prevented. People with type 1 diabetes must use insulin everyday to survive. Type 2 diabetes on the other hand mostly occurs in older people. Though it isn’t reversible once you have it, it can be prevented or delayed through a sound lifestyle change.
What about pre-diabetes? Closely linked to type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes is a serious condition which affects one in seven Singaporeans. It is a condition where one’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It can however develop into type 2 diabetes and puts you at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. But the thing about pre-diabetes is that it is reversible.
Symptoms of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes include feeling more thirsty than usual, urinating more often, feeling hungry more easily, feeling very tired, sudden weight loss, or having poor-healing wounds.
You may be at risk of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes if you:
- are aged 40 and above
- have a BMI of 23 or above
- lead a sedentary lifestyle
- have a family history of diabetes
- have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- have diabetes while pregnant (for women), or have given birth to a child weighing more than 4kg
- have an abnormal blood sugar result
If you are at risk of pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, remember, you still have a chance at reversing the condition and getting your health back!
Here are some ways to prevent pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes:
- Adopt a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and low in fats and sugar.
- Stay active and exercise regularly. An active lifestyle can help to reverse pre-diabetes, as well as reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Go for regular health screenings. Many people with diabetes do not have any symptoms, particularly during the early stages of the condition. They can have diabetes for months, even years, without knowing it. Early detection through check-ups is an opportunity for you to change your lifestyle before it’s too late.
Now that you are aware of the symptoms of pre-diabetes and how to prevent the condition, make a conscious effort to take charge of your life and health!
TOUCH Diabetes Support aims to build a community of care and support for people living with diabetes. Since 1992, TDS has been delivering impact into the lives of people with diabetes by empowering them to achieve good control of their sugar levels through lifestyle changes and regular health checks.
For more information on TOUCH Diabetes Support, please click here.