Do You Have Prediabetes? Would You Even Know?

In Individual, Industry News, Insurance by Tom McGuinness

You’ve almost certainly heard of type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, it’s a condition that is dramatically on the rise in the UK.

In fact, according to Diabetes UK, 90% of all people diagnosed with diabetes have the type 2 form. Moreover, it is estimated that there are nearly one million people who have the condition but don’t know because they haven’t yet been diagnosed.

However, in addition to type 2 diabetes there is another group of individuals, a much larger one, who have what is known as prediabetes. That is where their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not quite in the diabetic range.

How about this for a statistic: One in three adults in England has prediabetes. And because there aren’t any symptoms, you won’t even know you’ve got it unless you are tested.

Are You At Risk Of Prediabetes?

The following factors will put you at greater risk of prediabetes than the average person:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Storing fat around your middle
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • You have a close family history of type 2 diabetes
  • You are of Asian, Middle Eastern or African Caribbean origin
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have a poor cholesterol profile
  • You are a women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Symptoms Of Prediabetes

As we’ve already mentioned, prediabetes generally has no signs or symptoms. However, there are a number of classic signs if you have moved from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Frequent urination (particularly at night)
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss or loss of muscle
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • Frequent episodes of thrush

Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without even knowing because the symptoms often aren’t recognised. That’s why it is important to get your blood sugar level tested and take action early if it is high because diabetes will only get worse if left untreated.

Reversing The Effects Of Prediabetes

The problem is that prediabetes often isn’t given the attention it deserves and people only make lifestyle changes once they’ve developed full-blown diabetes. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The good news is that you can fully reverse prediabetes and get your blood sugar levels back within the normal range by making some simple diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.

You can start by reducing the amount of high-sugar foods and refined carbs (things like biscuits and cakes) you eat. You should also try to consume less starchy foods, such as potatoes, white bread and white rice, as well as limiting your calories to get your weight back to normal (if you are overweight or obese).

It’s important to find out your blood sugar level and take action if it is high because persistently high blood sugar levels (even if they do not fall in the diabetic range) can damage your blood vessels and leave you with a greater risk of stroke, dementia and heart disease.

Tom is the Sales Director for Premier Choice Group. In his role, Tom oversee’s growth across all areas of the business while maintaining a small number of his own clients. At Premier Choice, Tom and the team deliver a unique, personal service to every client, while growing the business and maintaining a strong reputation as the UK’s best intermediary.