Do you have (pre) diabetes? Quick check-up

I’m currently running a six-week corporate course that focuses on the prevention and reversal of type 2 diabetes and weight management. It's such an important topic for any organisation and individual as well. On the course, yesterday we talked about something called metabolic syndrome, aka pre-diabetes state. In this article, we'll be exploring this topic further.


What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome wasn't actually identified until 1988. So, not many doctors know about it. But I can tell you that it’s the beginning of trouble.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, as well as cancer, dementia and other chronic diseases.

These conditions include:

  • high waist circumference (men >94cm/ women>80cm)
  • high blood sugar
  • high blood pressure
  • high triglycerides
  • low HDL cholesterol

If you have three or more of those conditions, you have metabolic syndrome. For example, if you have high blood pressure, high waist circumference (men >94cm/ women>80cm) and high blood glucose, you can be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

Task: Please check which of the above conditions you have by doing measurements and checking your last blood test results. If you haven’t had a blood test in over a year but are not feeling great and suspect you might have metabolic syndrome, ask your doctor for a blood test.

Below are medical references that you can use to identify metabolic syndrome.

Criteria for clinical diagnoses of the metabolic syndrome:

  1. Elevated fasting glucose (or taking medication for elevated glucose) ≥ 100mg/ 5.6 mmol/L.
  2. Elevated blood pressure (or taking antihypertensive medication) – systolic ≥130 and/or diastolic ≥85 mm Hg.
  3. Elevated waist circumference/men≥94cm/ women≥80cm.
  4. Elevated triglycerides (or taking medication for it) ≥150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L).
  5. Reduced HDL-C <40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) in males; <50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in females.

If you reading this in the USA – if you have three of the above conditions, your insurance should cover you. Which is always good news.

In the UK – if you know you have three of the above conditions, you can talk to your GP to do some further blood tests to establish what’s going on.

Why it’s important to know your numbers

Quick inside info: My clients who know their numbers (see them on the paper) are much more motivated and driven to do things to improve their health. Seeing those numbers changes something inside their heads.

I want you to get close and personal with your body measurements and your blood test results. They are there for you. Your doctor has another 100 patients to take care of. It’s your job to know your numbers.

On the course I'm running, I was totally surprised at how many people who were diagnosed with diabetes didn’t know what their glucose levels or HBA1C are (another strong predictor of type 2 diabetes).

This is shocking really. How you can win a battle if you don’t know what you're up against?

So, what is your waist circumference? This one is easy – this can be done with a soft measuring tape today. What's your blood pressure? The pharmacist can do this for you if don’t have a blood pressure monitor. And are you taking medication for any of the five conditions above?

It's important to know these things if you:

  • are at risk of T2D or cardiovascular diseases (stroke, heart)
  • are overweight (and have been for many years)
  • have family members with diabetes – but remember, although genes do play a part, what you do to those genes (food, drink, stress, etc.) plays a much bigger part

If you're worried that you might be developing metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, it might be a good time to talk to someone. The good news is that metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes can be completely reversed if done on time using the right food and lifestyle changes. Prevention is better than cure – always.

I hope this helps some of you and encourages you to check your blood test results sitting in that drawer, check your body measurements and know your numbers so you can take action and get healthier. Health is wealth.

Any questions on this, give me a shout.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sutton, Surrey, SM1
Written by Angelika Cutuk-Short, MSc Functional Nutritionist / Hormone and Weight specialist
Sutton, Surrey, SM1

Angelika is a functional nutritionist. She specialises in weight loss, hormones and gut health. She helps peri/menopausal women discover the root cause of their health issues using functional testing. She helps women to look and feel healthier than ever, get that energy back and finally fit into those favourite clothes. Health is Wealth.

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