Prediabetes means someone has higher blood sugar levels than normal, but the levels are not high enough to meet the threshold for a diagnosis of diabetes.
Each year, more and more people are being diagnosed with prediabetes. Right now, about 6 million Canadians have prediabetes.
Prevalence and cost of prediabetes and diabetes in Canada
Causes of prediabetes
The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin which allows sugar (glucose) into the body’s cells so it can be used as energy. In people with prediabetes, the cells do not respond to insulin properly (a condition termed insulin resistance), which causes blood sugars to rise. If this process continues and isn’t addressed, this can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
According to Cleveland Clinic, researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes the cells to become insulin resistant, but weight gain, physical activity levels, stress, sleep, nutrition, environmental factors, and genetics all likely play a role.
Many people won’t show signs or symptoms of prediabetes and might not know they have the condition. However, there is some evidence to suggest a possible sign of prediabetes might be darkened skin in some areas of the body like the neck, armpits, and groin.
If you start noticing signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, such as increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, or blurred vision, it’s best to call your doctor.