Prediabetes Info

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic and sometimes fatal disease, in which the body cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it has.  There are different types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and type 2 diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes generally develops during childhood and is treated with insulin.   Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that can occur during pregnancy.  Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and typically develops during adulthood.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease where blood glucose levels are high. In type 2 diabetes the body cannot use the insulin it has produced or is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood.  Too much glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels which in turn can damage vital organs. In the beginning of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas works extra hard to compensate, and tries to lower blood glucose but eventually the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas can fail leading to the requirement for insulin injections.

 

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is classified when the fasting blood glucose levels are elevated but slightly lower than 7 mmol/L.

Individuals may be at risk for prediabetes if any of the following apply:

  • Excess fat around the waist
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Largely sedentary
  • No regular exercise
  • A family member with type 2 diabetes
  • Over 40 years old

The Canadian Diabetes Association suggests that blood sugar should be tested every 3 years after 40 years of age

 

The good news

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be lowered by making positive lifestyle changes. These include a healthy diet, physical activity, not smoking and moderate alcohol intake.

 

How can exercise help with blood glucose?

During exercise, glucose is used as an energy source. For this reason, blood glucose levels will decrease after exercise. When exercising consistently, insulin will be used more efficiently and blood glucose levels can decrease.

 
Want to know more? Read the articles below if you want to learn more about the science behind prediabetes and its risk factors.

Canadian Diabetes Association

American diabetes Association’s Position Statement on Diabetes Care

American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand on Diabetes and Physical Activity

Eikenberg, JD., Savla, J., Marinik, EL., Davy, KP., Pownall, J., Baugh, ME., … Davy, B. M. (2016). Pre diabetes Phenotype Influences Improvements in Glucose Homeostasis with Resistance Training. Plos One, 11(2), e0148009.

D., Dunstan, D. W., Prins, J. B., Baker, M. K., Singh, M. A. F., & Coombes, J. S. (2012). Exercise prescription for patients with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes: A position statement from Exercise and Sport Science Australia. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15(1), 25–31

Hussain, A., Claussen, B., Ramachandran, a., & Williams, R. (2007). Prevention of type 2 diabetes: A review. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 76, 317–326

Lau, D. C. W., & Teoh, H. (2015). Current and Emerging Pharmacotherapies for Weight Management in Prediabetes and Diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 39, S134–S141

Sinclair, A.J., Conroy, S. P., & Bayer, A. J. (2008). Impact of Diabetes on Physical Function in Older People. Diabetes Care, 31(2), 233–235