What is the difference between diabetes and prediabetes?
Despite many similarities, prediabetes and diabetes are two distinct disorders. On the one hand, type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects more than 460 million people worldwide. On the other, prediabetes is seen as a transition phase between a healthy state and having diabetes.
Therefore, prediabetes, unlike type 2 diabetes, is not considered to be a disease. In addition, the high blood sugar that is the hallmark of prediabetes can be reversed by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Prediabetes is not a disease
So, there is a fundamental difference between someone with type 2 diabetes and another with prediabetes. The first suffers from a disease whose hallmark is a high level of glucose in the blood on a permanent basis. This hyperglycaemia manifests itself chronically and requires treatment and lifelong medical monitoring. In addition, diabetics encounter very serious health complications. As a result, disorders in the heart and blood vessels can lead to cardiovascular events. Other consequences arise, such as eye, kidney and nerve problems.
« In 5 to 10 years, 80% of prediabetics will be diabetic »
– www.idf.org : Diabetes facts & figures
Sure, a person with prediabetes experiences hyperglycaemia, like someone who contracts type 2 diabetes. However, the blood sugar level remains much lower than for a diabetic. It should be remembered that type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the glucose level in the blood is greater than or equal to 1.26 g per litre of blood. In prediabetics, blood sugar levels peak between 1 g and 1.25 g per litre of blood. The patient does not therefore suffer from type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes actually refers to a phase preceding the disease, during which the person can always improve their health status.
Prediabetes refers to the phase preceding type 2 diabetes
Prediabetes therefore differs from type 2 diabetes. And in contrast to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes status implies that the person diagnosed as such can quickly take measures to change their situation.
In fact, 80% of prediabetics who do not take action risk contract type 2 diabetes within five to 10 years. The slow, silent progression to type 2 diabetes leads to a deterioration in the body’s health.
- In response to increased blood sugar levels, the pancreas makes more insulin.
- After many years of chronic hyperglycaemia (10 to 20 years), the excessive production of insulin gradually depletes the pancreas.
- The pancreas can no longer secrete enough insulin to regulate the glucose level inthe blood. The cells of the muscles and organs eventually develop resistance to insulin, of which there is too much in the blood. There is therefore an insulin deficiency.
- Type 2 diabetes takes hold in the body for the long-term and permanently.
Good news, prediabetes can be reversed
Fortunately, people with prediabetes can improve their health if they take action. And the first measure to take is a completely natural treatment: a change in lifestyle.
Prediabetes usually develops as a result of well-known risk factors. A sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical exercise and the consumption of fatty and sugary foods drastically increase the risk of prediabetes.
You don’t have to wait for the first symptoms of type 2 diabetes to act. A consultation with the doctor and then regular screening through blood tests make it possible to detect prediabetes. Finally, the best prevention lies in the adoption of new habits: a balanced diet, weight loss and regular physical activity.
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