As we age, our bodies become less efficient at metabolising glucose, leading to higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk for prediabetes and diabetes. It’s important to understand the role that blood sugar levels play in our overall health, especially as we get older. But what exactly is prediabetes, and how is it different from the actual condition? Furthermore, if we are older, how do we know if we have prediabetes by measuring our sugar levels and comparing it to average blood sugar levels between the age of 50 to 60? Lastly, what can be done if we do have prediabetes? Read this blog to find the answer to all these questions.
Prediabetes is a condition wherein your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions such as stroke and heart disease.
Prediabetes often has no symptoms. You can have prediabetes for years without knowing it. That’s why it’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you’re 50 years or older, even if you don’t have any symptoms of diabetes.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at processing glucose, which can lead to insulin resistance and prediabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the cutoff for normal fasting blood sugar in a healthy adult should be around 100 mg/dL for people over the age of 50.
What if your random blood sugar level is around 180? Will it be considered prediabetes? To answer this question, you need to undergo a test known as the haemoglobin A1c test. Many experts believe it is one of the most accurate ways to measure blood sugar levels.
Therefore, if your fasting blood sugar is between 100-125 mg/dL or your haemoglobin A1c is between 5.7-6.4%, you are considered to have prediabetes. This means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Another way to test for prediabetes is using the oral glucose tolerance test. To conduct this test, you will be required to fast overnight. Then in the morning, doctors will administer a specified amount of glucose. Then, your blood sugar levels will be tested for the next couple of hours. You might have prediabetes if your random blood sugar level 180 or higher but less than 200 mg/dl.
So if you have a high blood sugar level age 50 to 60, you may have prediabetes and are prone to developing type 2 diabetes if appropriate remedial action is not taken immediately.
Fortunately, it is possible to change the condition and even reverse it completely if you follow the right lifestyle. There are two aspects to this lifestyle change – diet and exercise.
Diet: This includes eating healthy foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and perhaps some fruits that have low sugar content. Apart from eating right, avoid harmful foods like highly processed fast food, fried dishes, sugary drinks, sodas, caffeinated drinks, processed flour, etc. Of course, some react more to certain foods than others, so this will require trial and error.
Exercise: If you have a random blood sugar level of 180 and are on the verge of developing diabetes, you can create a workout routine. You should exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. It can include walking or some other form of cardio and a strength training regimen, which will help strengthen your muscles and joints.
If you’re still unable to control your blood sugar levels with lifestyle changes alone, your doctor may prescribe medication. The most common type of medication used to treat prediabetes is metformin. Metformin helps lower blood sugar levels by increasing the insulin produced by your pancreas.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that reversing prediabetes is a lifelong process. Even if your blood sugar levels return to normal, you’ll need to continue with lifestyle changes and regular check-ups with your doctor to prevent diabetes from developing.
In summation, our blood sugar levels between the age of 50 to 60 can fluctuate drastically, indicating prediabetes, a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, with the right diet and lifestyle changes, such as adding an exercise routine, it is possible to control and even reverse this condition for good.