Diabetes is diagnosed by taking a reading of an individual’s fasting, random or three-month average blood sugar levels. When a person has blood sugar levels that fall in between the normal and diabetes ranges, they are considered to have pre-diabetes. Diabetes has to do with the way our body processes food. When an individual has pre-diabetes, it means they are beginning to develop insulin resistance—which slows the flow of glucose to the cells, causing a back-up of sugar in the blood.
Symptoms of pre-diabetes may include:
- Darkened skin on the neck, armpits, elbows, knees or knuckles
Continuing to feel hungry after eating
Unexpected weight gain that is hard to lose
When an individual is diagnosed with pre-diabetes, making some lifestyle modifications can help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The goal is to regulate the amount of sugar in your body, so be conscious of how much sugar is in your diet, as trying to lower your intake can help. Physical activity helps our body process food properly and is an important part of reducing your risk for diabetes. If individuals with pre-diabetes are inactive, it is important for them to begin a regular exercise routine tailored to their physical capabilities. For example, jumping jacks are a good full-body work out that can be done at home.
By detecting pre-diabetes early and making lifestyle modifications, a diabetes diagnosis can be postponed and/or prevented. Individuals who are diagnosed with pre-diabetes should talk to their doctor about getting a referral to an endocrinologist or nutrition and diabetes education services to develop a preventative plan customized to their health condition and personal needs. Cone Health has exceptional teams of endocrinologists, registered dieticians and certified diabetes educators dedicated to educating and treating patients throughout the community with pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Dr. Jennifer Badik is a pediatric endocrinologist at Pediatric Specialists at Wendover Ave and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Badik earned her Doctor of Medicine at Temple University in 2006. She completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Arizona in 2009 and completed a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at Emory University in 2012.