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BN Doctors’ Lounge with Dr. Folasade Alli: ‘Prediabetes’ & Diabetes Prevention

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BN Doctors' LoungePrediabetes  is also known as ‘borderline diabetes’. Prediabetes occurs when an individual’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.

The main problem with pre diabetes is that, when it’s not detected early, it can activate the long-term damage of important organs and body parts – including the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and feet. Therefore, without taking early diabetes prevention lifestyle changes, it is possible that such individual develops type 2 diabetes. This has further health implications:heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, amputation of limbs, and so on.

Also, it is important to note that prediabetes affects both children and adults.

Who is at risk?
If your answer to 1 or more of this is ‘yes’, then you are at greater risk of not just prediabetes, but also type 2 diabetes:

  • Do you have a family history of type 2 diabetes?
  • Are you obese?
  • Are you physically inactive?
  • Are you at least 45 years old?
  • Did you have gestational diabetes while pregnant? If yes, you and your child are at risk of developing prediabetes.
  • At birth, did baby weigh more than 9 pounds?
  • Do you struggle with sleep apnea?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Do you have irregular menstrual periods?

What are the signs & symptoms?
Unfortunately, prediabetes generally has no signs and symptoms. It is possible to have prediabetes yet ‘feel’ healthy.

What are the causes?
The precise causes of prediabetes are unknown, however, family history plays an important role amongst Nigerian patients. Other important factors include:

  • Excess abdominal fat
  • Physical inactivity

What Can I do to Prevent Prediabetes from Becoming Type 2 Diabetes?
The good news is, often times, you can prevent the progression of prediabetes into type 2 diabetes, which is a serious health problem that can increase one’s risk of heart attack, stroke, feet amputation, and blindness. Making daily lifestyle changes that improve your overall health and well-being can help bring your blood sugar level back to normal. Also, for those without prediabetes, taking making these changes can reduce your risk of prediabetes. They include:

  • Losing the extra weight
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Knowing your numbers: check your blood sugar level regularly
  • Adopting a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, and includes a variety of whole grains, unflavoured nuts, beans, lean meat, and healthy oils such coconut oil and olive oil.

Improve your overall well-being and the well-being of your family.

Photo Credit: Bevan Goldswain | Dreamstime

Dr. Folasade Alli is a Cardiologist who has over 30 years of experience in the field. She is a member of the Society for Quality in Healthcare in Nigeria (SQHN), a Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, an International Associate Member of the American College of Cardiology, and so on. Her clinical practice comprises of 16 years at top management level in Lagoon Hospitals where she was the Head Consultant Cardiologist and Specialist Physician, and the Head of Internal Medicine, the Health Assessment Clinic, and the Clinical Research Unit. She currently manages Lagos Executive Cardiovascular Clinic with a team of multi-specialists including a paediatric cardiologist, cardiothoracic surgeon, family physician, general surgeon, two neurosurgeons and neurologists, nephrologist, anaesthetist, paediatrician, orthopaedic surgeon, a laboratory scientist, radiologist and radiographer, specialist and registered nurses, and 2 GPs. Read some of her work HERE.

1 Comment

  1. harsh

    April 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

    great helpful article, i am over weight and trying to reduce my weight, thanks for writing this type of article

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