Are you diagnosed with prediabetes? Searching for what’s next? Well, next would be – working out on ways to reverse prediabetes or else, next would be diabetes – if you don’t take the right action now.
But can prediabetes be reversed? And why should you care about reversing prediabetes? Let us understand this in detail.

Can Prediabetes Be Reversed?

Prediabetes, is a stage when the blood glucose levels are slightly raised but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. It is also considered as borderline diabetes or early diabetes, as it marks the beginning of diabetes, but the blood glucose levels are still lower than those found in diabetes. Now, this is the period, when, if effective preventive steps are taken, the condition can be reversed.
Being diagnosed with prediabetes can sound like a warning signal but it does not mean that you will always get diabetes. Many factors decide the risk of insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. Several risk factors may have led you to prediabetes. But from here onwards, whether to proceed towards diabetes or not can be in your hands. If you can work on the modifiable risk factors for diabetes, you can control and manage prediabetes. While an increasing number of people are getting diagnosed with prediabetes, experts believe that with appropriate lifestyle modifications prediabetes can be reversed.
So, if you or your loved ones are diagnosed with prediabetes, take this as an opportunity to modify your lifestyle – revisit your routine practices and make the necessary health changes. With early treatment, some people with prediabetes can return their blood sugar levels to a normal range.
According to the American Diabetes Association, your risk of having prediabetes is higher if your age is 45 plus. Also, being overweight, inactivity, family history, or other medical conditions can increase the risk of prediabetes.
However, the biggest challenge is that prediabetes may not have any symptoms. So people with the given risk factors and those about 45 years, should regularly undergo blood sugar tests for prediabetes screening.

Why Should You Care About Reversing Prediabetes?

So, now you are aware that prediabetes can be reversed. But why should you care about reversing prediabetes? It is common to feel that prediabetes is just a stage that can progress to diabetes but otherwise harmless. However, it is necessary to understand that prediabetes is not just a state of intermediate-high glucose levels. Prediabetes can is also associated with severe adverse health outcomes, just like diabetes. While you are aware that long-standing or poorly controlled diabetes can give rise to certain complications, prediabetes too is associated with similar risks. Hence, you must try to reverse this condition and get your blood glucose levels back to normal. This makes it essential to care about reversing prediabetes.

Some of the common health risks associated with prediabetes include the following,

• Progression to type 2 diabetes – Prediabetes can not only progress to type 2 diabetes but can also act as a risk factor for various diabetes complications. As increased blood glucose levels are a risk for diabetes complications, prediabetes, even with slightly elevated levels can put you at a greater risk of these health problems.

• Nephropathy and kidney disease – Studies have shown that prediabetes is associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease and early nephropathy.

• Neuropathies – Several studies have found an association of prediabetes and dysfunction of cardiac autonomic activity and nerve impairment. This suggests the involvement of small unmyelinated nerve fibres carrying pain signals, temperature, and regulation of autonomic function in prediabetes before the development of diabetes.

• Retinopathy – It is also noted that people having prediabetes too are at an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy, depending on their health conditions.

• Macrovascular disease – Some risk factors for prediabetes and coronary artery diseases like age, weight, diet or lifestyle habits, and other health conditions are common. Hence, it is also noted that prediabetes is associated with an increased risk of developing a microvascular disease. Some studies have also established a link between prediabetes and increased risk of coronary artery disease.
For some, these complications were so far known to be associated only with type 2 diabetes. But now, with this discussion, you are aware that prediabetes too can be harmful to your health. In the presence of other factors, your risk for these complications increases. So, the earlier you try to reverse your prediabetes the better for you.

Thus, if you are wondering, why should you care about reversing prediabetes – here is the answer. You may have been diagnosed with prediabetes or you may be already living with it. Here is a chance to start afresh and focus on your health and lifestyle. Your diet, lifestyle, and routine can define and decide the outcome of your stage of prediabetes – whether it progresses to type 2 diabetes or gets reversed to normal blood glucose levels again.
So, take this challenge and make use of this time to plan a healthy lifestyle. Life after 45 years of age needs some lifestyle modifications for a healthy 45 plus.

References
1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/can-i-reverse-prediabetes
2. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/prediabetes-diagnosis-what-to-do#1
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4360422/
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6369626/

Dr Snehal Singh