Borderline Diabetes: Definition, Symptoms, Causes and How To Prevent It

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What Causes Pre-Diabetes

People diagnosed with prediabetes or borderline diabetes are predisposed to becoming severely diabetic later on. You can get prediabetes when your body can’t keep your blood sugar glucose within the normal limits. So, what causes borderline diabetes?

Well, if you have prediabetes it means your blood sugar is above normal, but not so high to be considered as diabetes. When your cells respond adequately to your insulin, then glucose gets into your cellular factories, leading to energy production from glucose and a drop in the glucose level in your blood.

Whenever this process is disturbed it could be one of the causes for getting prediabetes. That is, your cells resist glucose absorption resulting in an increase in your blood glucose levels and the symptoms of borderline diabetes.

Common Causes of Pre-Diabetes

If you develop symptoms for borderline diabetes, you should immediately consult your doctor. The following are a few of the common causes of prediabetes:

  • Pancreatic Disorders

If your pancreas does not function normally due to viral infection, heredity or genetics, then it will produce less insulin than your body requires. Or though adequate, it could be altered and therefore incompatible with your body cells which now don’t respond well to your insulin.

In both the above situations, there is restricted entry of glucose into your cells, and so excess glucose remains in your blood leading to pre-diabetes.

  • Defective Glucose Metabolism

If for some reason or the other, enough glucose fails to enter your body cells, this leads to a condition in which less glucose enters into the cells while too much glucose remains in your blood. Insulin helps your cells absorb glucose. When there is insufficient insulin, the required amount of glucose doesn’t enter your cells and these results in high blood glucose levels and subsequently you get pre-diabetes.

  • Aging and Obesity

In general, once people cross forty, they tend to become less active and they are more prone to putting on weight. Also, the aging process reduces the natural body defenses. Therefore this too could lead to pre diabetes. Being overweight or obese are two leading causes of pre diabetes during middle age. This condition results in having excess fat tissue accumulating in your body. This makes your cells resist insulin, and you then develop pre diabetes.

  • High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Clinical examinations have confirmed that high blood pressure, dangerous cholesterol levels, higher level of triglycerides and the metabolic disorder are a few of the prominent factors leading to pre-diabetes. So those who have these health conditions are more likely to get prediabetes.

  • Heredity and Idle Life

Those who are idle and inactive most of the time burn less glucose because their body cells need less glucose. After a long period they become insensitive to it and this is what could cause borderline diabetes and later on diabetes.

Those whose forefathers had diabetes are more prone to getting pre diabetes. Those who belong to certain races get prediabetes more easily than those of other races. Thus, racial factors, heredity, and an idle lifestyle are also causes of prediabetes.

  • Gestational and Polycystic Conditions

If you happened to have gestational diabetes during one pregnancy, you are at greater risk of developing diabetes again, even though the diabetes might have vanished. You could develop diabetes type 2 or else pre-diabetes. Many women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome are obese and therefore their body cells resist insulin. And so, polycystic ovary syndrome is also a known cause of borderline diabetes.

These risk factors do not mean you have or are going to have diabetes. There are several blood tests you can get to determine if you have prediabetes.

Pre-Diabetes Symptoms In Adults

PreDiabetes in adults is a silent health condition that has very few noticeable physical symptoms. But if you have a family history of diabetes, suffer from Insulin Resistance, or are obese, then you could be at higher risk.

Very often, those with pre diabetes have no signs or symptoms and this condition is only revealed after blood tests. You can read more about this in our previous article. Once you know what the early warning symptoms are, you’ll be able to check if you have them and thus avoid getting diabetes later on.

One sign that suggests a greater risk for diabetes in adults is a condition called acanthosis nigricans where a person has darkened skin in some areas. The more common areas include the neck, elbows, armpits, knuckles, and knees. Read on for some more pre-diabetes symptoms which could indicate that you have increased insulin resistance and that a change in your diet could be necessary to avoid developing a diabetic condition.

Common Pre-Diabetes Signs And Symptoms In Adults

1. Heartburn: mostly when you’re asleep, or a diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

2. Digestive Issues: You have frequent stomach aches, constantly have to deal with bloating, gas pain, and stool issues which alternate between constipation and diarrhea.

3. Dizzy Spells, or a feeling of lightheadedness, usually after eating something sweet. (This could be an indication of reactive hypoglycemia.)

4. Night Time Breathing Issues: you have been diagnosed as having sleep apnea.

5. Constant Feeling Tiredness: Even though you sleep well, and exercise regularly to gain strength, yet you feel fatigued.

6. An Unexplained Increase In Weight Gain, and difficulty in losing it despite exercising and eating less.

7. Blurred Vision that’s getting worse, and difficulty seeing at night or in the dark.

8. Burning Sensation In The Feet and numbness in the toes on standing for a long time.

9. Constant Joint Pains, and stiffness of the muscles and joints on waking up.

10. Feeling Grumpy When You Don’t Eat, or feeling shaky and nauseated.

11. You Get Frequent Yeast Infections; your cuts and bruises don’t heal quickly enough.

12. Swollen Ankles, besides water retention and a general feeling of puffiness, especially when you remain seated for a long time.

13. Waking Up In Middle Of The Night Feeling Your Heart Pounding: You also often feel cold or nauseated. This mostly happens more after eating meals high in sugar. Once again, this could indicate low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

14. You Crave To Eat Something Sweet after every meal, despite already having a feeling of fullness.

15. You Feel Sleepy And Groggy After Meals, even though you have had sufficient rest. You could also have felt embarrassed about falling asleep at your work desk, or during a meeting.

16. You Have High Blood Pressure and your blood tests show you your high triglyceride levels are high while your HDL cholesterol levels are low.

17. You Have Gingivitis even though your brush your teeth and floss every day . And even though you brush well before bed, you often have a horrible taste in your mouth on waking up.

If you notice any signs or symptoms of type 2 diabetes, or are worried about having diabetes, do consult your doctor.  Remember that pre-diabetes and the underlying causes like obesity or Insulin Resistance can be reversed by a proper diet and exercising regularly.

Difference Between Diabetes And Pre-Diabetes

If your blood glucose content is above the normal level, yet not too high, then this is not considered as diabetes, but as prediabetes. This condition is also called Borderline Diabetes, Impaired Fasting Glucose, or Impaired Glucose Tolerance.

This type of condition where you sometimes have slightly higher levels of blood sugar, this could often lead to diabetes within around 10 years. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse around 79 million Americans (which works out to about a quarter of the American adult population) have prediabetes. During this stage, there can be long-term damage caused to the heart as well as the circulatory system.

What Exactly Is Pre-Diabetes?

‘Prediabetes’ is a term used by the American Diabetic Association in order to spread awareness and convey the seriousness of this condition, and encourage people to go in for proper treatment and change their lifestyles. Prediabetes takes a long time to change into established diabetes.

The symptoms of pre-diabetes often are difficult to notice and could develop over a long period of time. This condition is first detected through blood tests. You have to get your blood checked several times in a year.

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The other warning signs are rather subtle and could be hard to detect. Therefore prediabetes is a dangerous condition that is hard to detect because of the less evident symptoms. Those with prediabetes have a higher possibility of developing type 2 diabetes and could even already have some diabetes-related problems.

Can You Have Pre-Diabetes Without Knowing About It?

Yes, you can. People who have prediabetes often don’t have any symptoms. There are millions who are unaware of their condition since the symptoms tend to develop very gradually and go unnoticed. Here are a few symptoms to look out for:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Sores that don’t heal

If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms get a check-up done immediately.

Medical Tests To Be Done For Pre-Diabetes

  • The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

You have to fast overnight. After that, your blood glucose will be tested after fasting and then again two hours after you drink a glucose-rich drink.

If your claret glucose is accustomed it will be beneath 140 mg/dl 2 hours afterwards the glucose-rich drink. Those with prediabetes will accept 140 to 199 mg/dl claret glucose 2 hours afterwards the glucose drink. If the column 2-hour claret glucose akin is 200 mg/dl or more, a being is said to accept diabetes.

  • The Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPGT)

For this test requires you have to fast overnight. Then the blood glucose is checked in the morning even before you eat anything.

The normal level of FPG is less than 100 mg/dl, but for those with prediabetes, it will be between 100 and 125 mg/dl. For those with diabetes, it will be 126 mg/dl or more.

  • The A1C Test

This blood test gives the average level of blood glucose over the past three to four months.

An A1C level of 5.6% or less is normal. For those with prediabetes, this ranges from 5.7% to 6.4%.  People with diabetes have A1C level of 6.5% or above.

You have to do the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Risk Test to check if you have an increased risk of getting diabetes or prediabetes.


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