Borderline diabetes is also known as prediabetes. It is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. This article will help you understand what borderline diabetes is, its signs and symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and complications.
What is Borderline Diabetes?
Borderline diabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. People with borderline diabetes have impaired glucose tolerance, which means their bodies cannot use insulin effectively.
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 88 million American adults have prediabetes, and more than 84% of them don’t know they have it. The prevalence of prediabetes increases with age, and it affects more men than women.
Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Diabetes
Borderline diabetes usually does not cause any symptoms, and many people with the condition are not aware they have it. However, some people with borderline diabetes may experience the following signs and symptoms:
High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar is the hallmark of borderline diabetes. A fasting blood sugar level between 100 and 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes. A blood sugar level above 126 mg/dL is considered diabetes.
People with borderline diabetes may need to urinate more frequently than usual, especially at night.
Increased thirst is another common symptom of borderline diabetes. This occurs because your body is trying to flush out excess sugar from your bloodstream.
Fatigue is a common symptom of borderline diabetes, as your body is not using sugar effectively for energy.
High blood sugar can cause blurry vision, which usually improves once blood sugar levels are under control.
People with borderline diabetes may notice that cuts and bruises take longer to heal than usual.
Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet may occur due to nerve damage caused by high blood sugar.
Causes of Borderline Diabetes
A family history of diabetes increases your risk of developing borderline diabetes.
Lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity, poor diet, and obesity increase your risk of developing borderline diabetes.
Diagnosis of Borderline Diabetes
A simple blood test can determine whether you have borderline diabetes. A fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test measures your blood sugar level after an overnight fast. An FPG level between 100 and 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes.
Glucose Tolerance Test
Another test used to diagnose borderline diabetes is an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). You will drink a sugary solution, and your blood sugar level will be measured after two hours. An OGTT level between 140 and 199 mg/dL is considered prediabetes.
Treatment of Borderline Diabetes
Lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for borderline diabetes. These include:
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
- Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and portion control.
- Quitting smoking.
- Reducing stress through relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.
Medications may be prescribed to lower blood sugar levels if lifestyle changes alone are not enough. These include:
- Metformin, helps lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
- Thiazolidinediones, which improve insulin sensitivity.
- Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, increase insulin secretion and lower blood sugar levels.
Insulin therapy may be necessary for some people with borderline diabetes, especially if they have other medical conditions that affect insulin production.
Prevention of Borderline Diabetes
Eating a healthy diet that is low in processed foods, sugar, and saturated fat can help prevent borderline diabetes.
Regular exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of borderline diabetes.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise is an essential factor in preventing borderline diabetes. Doing intermittent fasting and a Ketogenic diet can greatly improve diabetes.
Complications of Borderline Diabetes
If left untreated, borderline diabetes can lead to complications, including:
High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels that supply the heart, increasing the risk of heart disease.
High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, leading to numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in the hands and feet.
High blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys, leading to kidney disease or even kidney failure.
High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision problems and blindness.
Nerve damage and poor blood flow can lead to foot ulcers, infections, and even amputations in severe cases.
Borderline diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. The condition is often asymptomatic, but some people may experience signs and symptoms such as high blood sugar, frequent urination, and increased thirst. Borderline diabetes can be managed through lifestyle changes, medications, and insulin therapy. Preventing borderline diabetes through healthy lifestyle habits is essential to avoid complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and foot damage.
1. Can borderline diabetes be reversed?
Borderline diabetes, also known as prediabetes, can be reversed with lifestyle modifications such as healthy eating, regular exercise, and weight loss. It’s important to make these changes early on to prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.
2. Can borderline diabetes turn into diabetes?
Yes, borderline diabetes can progress into type 2 diabetes if left untreated. However, making lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
3. How often should I get tested for borderline diabetes?
If you have risk factors for prediabetes, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes, you should get tested every three years. If your test results show that you have prediabetes, you should get tested annually.
4. Is borderline diabetes a serious condition?
Prediabetes is a serious condition because it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. However, it’s also a reversible condition that can be managed through lifestyle changes.
5. Can I still eat sugar if I have borderline diabetes?
If you have prediabetes, it’s important to limit your intake of added sugars, as well as carbohydrates that can cause your blood sugar to spike. Working with a registered dietitian can help you develop a balanced and healthy meal plan.