WHAT IS PRE-DIABETES?
Insulin Resistance and obesity are underlying causes of
Pre-Diabetes, a reversible condition that occurs when
a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but
not high enough for a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.
Before most people develop Type 2 Diabetes, they are almost
always Pre-Diabetic. It is estimated that 41 million Americans
of both sexes between the ages of 41 and 71 have Pre-Diabetes.
The good news is that having Pre-Diabetes does not automatically
mean that a person will develop the Type 2 variety, which,
in the vast majority of cases, must be managed for the rest
of a Diabetic's life. Type 2 Diabetes may require daily injections
of insulin and the condition, itself, is a severely increased
risk factor for blindness, heart and kidney disease and the
need for amputation.
If neglected, Pre-Diabetes may lead to the Type 2 variety.
Pre-Diabetes can result from Insulin Resistance, which
occurs when the body fails to use insulin properly or produces
insufficient quantity in the pancreas. Insulin is vital for
the process which allows glucose, or sugar, to pass through
the walls of your body's cells and be converted into energy.
However, Insulin Resistance can greatly reduce the insulin
sensitivity of your cell walls and, as a result, levels of
glucose and insulin in the blood stream become severely unbalanced.
This process can lead to weight gain and obesity – underlying
causes of Pre-Diabetes.
Another factor in Pre-Diabetes may be the role of inflammation,
which is part of the body's immune system. Inflammation triggers
a defense response to harmful stimuli or injury by sending
specialized blood cells to damaged areas where they attack "invaders" like
the renegade molecules called "free radicals" and
clean up dead and dying cells.
In the case of inflammation and Pre-Diabetes, the "invader" is
thought to be excess levels of insulin, which can be caused
by the imbalance of blood glucose and insulin called Insulin
Resistance. To learn more, click
on Inflammation, Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes.
Research has shown that some long-term damage to the body,
especially the eyes, heart and circulatory system, may already
be occurring during Pre-Diabetes. So it's essential to take
action as soon as possible if you've been diagnosed as being
Taking action to manage your blood glucose and insulin levels
when you have Pre-Diabetes can prevent Type 2 Diabetes from
ever developing or delay its onset for many years.
Click here to read What
is Type I Diabetes?
(1) Re-Think May Be Required for Timeline between Pre-and Type 2 Diabetes, Insulite Laboratories Viewpoints Newsletter archive, September 2005, http://insulitelabs.com