What Is Borderline Diabetes
Suffering from borderline diabetes is not a death sentence nor does it even mean that you will definitely develop diabetes. It is merely a warning of what can be expected. Individuals diagnosed with borderline diabetes have a 10-fold higher risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes than someone who has regular blood sugar levels. The odds stacked against you can, however, be changed by engaging is positive lifestyle changes that involve a healthy diet and increased activity.
What is borderline diabetes and what are the warning signs?
If someone allows insulin resistance in its formative stages to continue untreated for too long it can change into Type 2 diabetes. Due to the fact that not everyone with borderline diabetes displays the symptoms, it can often go undetected and therefore untreated. It is also a common occurrence that the symptoms are wrongfully assigned to another cause.
Signs of borderline diabetes
- Blurry vision
- Sores that take long to heal
- Inflammation of the gums
- Unquenchable thirst
- Increased fatigue
Although these are the most common signs of borderline diabetes there is a possibility that you may not display any symptoms at all.
Who is at risk of contracting borderline diabetes?
Being overweight or obese and not engaging in enough exercise are, together with a genetic predisposition, the main risk factors for borderline diabetes. There are a number of other contributing risk factors which include:
- High anxiety/stress levels
- High sugar consumption
- High alcohol consumption
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Who should be tested for borderline diabetes?
Individuals older than 45 who are overweight should get screened as well as anyone who:
- Suffers from high blood pressure
- Is predominantly inactive
- Has a history of elevated blood sugar levels
- Has displayed any signs of insulin resistance
- Has elevated fat levels in their blood
- Has very low ‘good’ cholesterol levels
- Was diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- Has given birth to a baby weighing in excess of 9 pounds
- Has a close relative with diabetes (parents. grandparents and siblings)
How do you get tested for borderline diabetes?
If you display any of the symptoms or fall into any of the high-risk categories you should voice your concerns to your doctors who will perform one of three types of tests on you: An oral glucose tolerance test which entails the drinking of a syrupy substance, a fasting glucose test designed to measure your sugar levels before you eat or an A1C test which is a simple blood test that does not require you to fast prior to it.
The purpose of these tests is to determine whether your insulin is performing the tasks it should. This is very important because your body produces extra insulin to reduce your blood sugar levels when you suffer from borderline diabetes.
Treating borderline diabetes
Once you are able to distinguish between what is borderline diabetes and what are symptoms of other ailments you can proceed to treating the ailment correctly. The most powerful treatment for borderline diabetes lies in making healthy lifestyle changes which include the following.
1. Eat healthier
Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks and processed carbohydrates. Concentrate on eating unprocessed carbs that are high in fiber and make sure to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption. Saturated fats and processed meats should also be avoided as much as possible. The American Diabetes Association emphasizes the importance of whole foods as part of a diabetic (and heart friendly) diet.
2. Increase your activity
Aiming to do 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate exercise a week is a good start. This can be broken up as you wish and can include any form of activity you enjoy, even if it’s just walking around the neighbourhood.
3. Shed some weight
Even a loss of as little as 7% of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk for diabetes and will improve your overall health as well. Following a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise will make it a lot easier to maintain a healthy body weight,
4. Invest in a blood glucose monitor
These days blood glucose monitors are fairly cheap and available from most chemists and even some department stores. You might find it useful to check your glucose levels at home to monitor how it is affected by certain foods. Good news is that if you have been formally diagnosed with borderline diabetes your health insurance plan will most likely cover the costs.
Do not delay in making the shift to a healthier lifestyle if you suspect you might have borderline diabetes and even if you don’t it can only benefit you.