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Living

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with Diabetes

Living with Diabetes: frequently asked questions

I have heard about a condition called ‘prediabetes’. What is it?

Prediabetes is a condition in which the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Millions of people worldwide do not know that they have prediabetes, that is why it is important to get screened for the condition.1

I have been diagnosed with prediabetes. What will happen next?

Prediabetic persons may develop type 2 diabetes in later life. There is a rule of “thirds” – about one third of prediabetic people will develop diabetes in the next five years, one third will remain prediabetic, while one third will revert to normal.1

I have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Aside from diabetes, am I at risk for other conditions?

Yes, those who have prediabetes are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Weight control can help prevent progression from prediabetes to diabetes and avoid cardiovascular problems.1

I read about gestational diabetes. What are its risk factors?

Any woman can develop gestational diabetes, but some women are at higher risk. Risk factors for this condition include: the subject’s ethnicity (it is more common in Native American, Alaskan Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Black women, though it can also be found in White women), being older than 25 years of age, being overweight prior to pregnancy, having a family history of diabetes, a history of raised blood glucose level, of repeated abortions or stillbirth, or a history of delivering a big baby and having polycystic ovarian syndrome. A sedentary lifestyle, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases also increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Screening for diabetes is recommended as a standard protocol for all pregnant women.2

I am overweight. Why am I at risk for diabetes? 

Being overweight can prevent the body from producing and utilizing insulin properly. It can also be responsible for high blood pressure. Overweight people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as people with normal weight.1

I have type 2 diabetes. Can I have the same meals as my wife and children?

Yes, because you do not need a special diet. The diet for diabetic individuals is the same as for persons without diabetes. Just make sure that the diet is healthy and maintain healthy eating habits to control the blood sugar level.1

Diabetes is a chronic disease, but can it lead to serious emergencies?

Yes, it can lead to serious and life-threatening medical emergencies, which can occur if the blood sugar is too high or too low. Diabetic emergencies are best treated in a hospital as quickly as possible.1

I thought that type 2 diabetes only affected adults. Is it true?

No, it is not. Recently, cases of type 2 diabetes have increased in children and adolescents. In some parts of the world type 2 diabetes has even become the main type of diabetes in children.3

Why has type 2 diabetes become so common in children? 

The global rise of childhood obesity and physical inactivity is widely believed to play a crucial role in this phenomenon. Healthy eating and lifestyle habits are a strong defense against the disease.3

References 

  1. WHO. FAQs -Frequently Asked Questions on Diabetes. 2016. 
  2. CDC. Diabetes and Pregnancy – Gestational Diabetes. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/documents/
    Diabetes_and_Pregnancy508.pdf
    Accessed on 08 July 2019.
  3. WHO. What are the risks of diabetes in children. 2019. Available at https://www.who.int/features/qa/65/en/ Accessed on 08 July 2019.