When we talk about prediabetes tests and preventing T2D (type 2 diabetes) in Seniors, knowledge is power.
Prediabetes: This is the name of a condition where the blood sugar is higher than it should be, but not in the range of diabetes. The risk with prediabetes is that could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes or heart conditions such as heart attack or stroke.
Once a person knows a little about prediabetes, they understand that improving their lifestyle can prevent development of T2D and other complications. That knowledge gives a person the power to make a change.
A good source of information about how hormones work, or, endocrinology, is Endocrine Web. Common signs given there for prediabetes include:
- A person is hungrier than usual
- There is unintentional weight loss
- Thirst is above average
- Frequent visits to the bathroom
- A person feels more tired than normal
A senior who has these symptoms should speak to their doctor about having prediabetes tests.
The symptoms of prediabetes are not always clear cut. A doctor will look at several factors, other than blood tests, to see if a person is at risk of prediabetes. However, blood tests are used to determine a diagnosis of prediabetes.
How Do People Test for Prediabetes
Doctors usually test for prediabetes using one of more blood tests.
The hormone called ‘insulin’ processes sugar in the blood.
Since diabetes is caused by the body not producing or using insulin the way it should, the blood tests focus on how well the body supplies insulin and how well the insulin breaks down sugar in the blood.
Tests may be as follows:
- Glucose tolerance tests – this measures how a person processes a preset quantity of glucose over 2 hours.
- Measuring blood glucose after fasting.
- The A1C blood test – measures blood glucose levels over two or three months.
Prevent Prediabetes from Developing into Type 2 Diabetes
If a senior is diagnosed with prediabetes, they can adopt lifestyle changes. That will prevent future diagnoses of type 2 diabetes, or something else serious. These steps are simple and very effective.
- Eating healthy – whole foods, fruit and vegetables
- Increase physical activity – walking, strength building exercises, going to the gym
- Weight control
Government sources recommend that adults should aim for:
- 150-300 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise
- Exercises for building muscle strength twice weekly or more
Testing and Prevention – It is Do-able!
Prediabetes tests and preventing T2D in seniors is something that we can pay attention to and resolve. Proper attention to having a balanced diet and incorporating sufficient exercise are the two main things to prevent prediabetes in seniors. Testing as frequently as the doctor suggests is a wise step in becoming aware of any risk of prediabetes.