The Harm in Prediabetes

Your doctor says you’re prediabetic.

So what? What does it mean?

Is it like preseason baseball (which is really just practice)?

Maybe it’s like preschool, which is all-day recess with a few rules. Not really school with homework and a teacher who can chill your bones with one glance.

Or, maybe it’s a preview of what’s going to happen to your sorry self if you don’t wake up and take care of business before you’re into full-blown diabetes.

Too harsh? Too bad.

High blood sugar speeds up cognitive decline[1]. It doesn’t have to be a super high level of blood sugar. What are classified as prediabetic levels will do it.

Our ability to reason, remember, use good judgment—all of those can start to slip when we live with high blood sugar for too long a period.

Prediabetes also increases our risk of having a stroke or heart attack or (simply) cardiovascular disease[2].

One of the most common complications of diabetes is also a complication of prediabetes. Nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy[3]. And guess what? Nerve damage can happen not just in the feet, but throughout the body, affecting, well, pretty much everything.

Prediabetes isn’t benign. It’ll throw you to the ground and stomp on you.

It’s not OK to cruise along in a prediabetic state and just hope we don’t develop full-blown diabetes. High blood sugar is hurting us. We all need to act now to get that blood sugar down to normal levels.

[1] Science Direct, Prediabetes and diabetes accelerate cognitive decline and predict microvascular lesions: A population-based cohort study, (April 15, 2019).

[2] BMJ, Association between prediabetes and risk of cardiovascular disease and all cause mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis, (April 15, 2019).

[3] Science Direct, Deep phenotyping neuropathy: An underestimated complication in patients with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes associated with albuminuria, (April 15, 2019).