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Early Diabetes

Dr Sanjay Chatterjee

Diabetes is a state of sustained high blood glucose level. A person is called diabetic if the fasting blood glucose is 126 mg/dl or above, or, post-glucose blood glucose is 200 mg/dl or, above. Normal blood glucose level is less than 100 mg/dl in the fasting state (after eight to 14 hours of overnight fast) and less than 140 mg/dl, two hours after a 75 g. glucose intake.
The commonest variety of diabetes – which affects about 95 percent of the people - is Type 2 diabetes which usually appears in adult life. And just before you step into this danger zone, if your fasting blood glucose is between 100 – 25 mg/dl, or the post-glucose blood glucose level is 140 – 199 mg/dl, it means that you have managed to get pre-diabetes or early diabetes. This is no separate disease – it is the early part of the same disease. Left untreated, early diabetes proceeds to become diabetes.

However, several controlled trials have confirmed that with some care, the progress to diabetes can be delayed. It is well known that diabetes increases the risk of heart attack, brain stroke, damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves and blood vessels. The complications of diabetes have profound effect on the health, life, life-expectancy and finance of its victims. The direct cost of management of diabetes and its complications is estimated to be 116 billion dollars! And the indirect cost from illness, disability and premature mortality is another 58 billion dollars per year – and this is just from the Unites States. Several long-term control studies have shown that as the blood glucose level rises, there is a linear increase of all-cause mortality. With rise of blood glucose in the pre-diabetes range, there is rise of prevalence of hypertension, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular death. Therefore, if we can detect early diabetes, we must make all endeavors to delay appearance of diabetes.
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