Lifestyle changes through urbanization and socio-economic development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have led to the widespread adoption of a sedentary lifestyle and Westernised diet in the local population. This has consequently led to a high prevalence of obesity and diabetes. In 2019, International Diabetes Federation statistics reported a diabetes prevalence rate of 16.3% for the adult population in the UAE.
A large study that tracked more than 33,000 Emirati men, aged 18-29, from 2015 to 2017 showed that diabetic conditions already exist in this young age group. These diabetic conditions can be grouped together as “Prediabetes”. If not treated, prediabetes can lead to diabetes and other diabetes-related diseases and complications.
What Is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes means that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes so you may have it and not know it. But people who develop type 2 diabetes have almost always prediabetes beforehand.
If you are over 30 years old, physically inactive, are overweight or obese, have a family history of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease or elevated blood fats, you should be screened for Prediabetes.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome or disorder or a history of gestational diabetes should be also screened.
What Do I Do If I Have Prediabetes?
The 4 basic pillars of prediabetes treatment are:
- Weight Management
- Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)
- Smoking Cessation
Through making positive changes in all these areas it is possible to successfully treat prediabetes and delay, or even prevent, the progression to Type 2 Diabetes.
What To Do If The Above Mentioned Treatments Are Not Successful?
Your diabetologist can start you on a medication called Metformin, to avoid becoming diabetic. It is also the first line of treatment for diabetic patients. It has fewer side effects, lowers your glucose levels, helps to lose weight, and improves your metabolism.
How Often Should I Visit My Clinic To Maintain My Prediabetes?
The ADA guidelines recommend repeat testing every 6 months.
What Do I Do In Between My Visits?
At a typical clinic, you would be advised to eat healthily and stay active, and hope that your blood sugar results stay in a safe range. But how are you supposed to manage all this on your own?
This Is Where Glucare Can Help
Our remote patient monitoring system means that even though you’ll be away from the clinic for 6 months, you won’t have to be alone! Our patients continue the traditional in-clinic treatment model with additional lifestyle training and education delivered remotely and interspersed between visits. With your own Lifestyle Coach and Care Team available at your fingertips, you will always have someone to guide you and support you through your diagnoses.
We know change is scary, especially when health is involved. GluCare Integrated Diabetes Center will educate you, support you, and treat you, providing complete holistic care so you can be the best you.
Want More Information?
If you want to know more about prediabetes, here are recommended sites to read and learn more about:
International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 9th edition 2019. [Accessed 2020 Feb 7] Available from https://www.diabetes- atlas.org/en/resources
Malik M, Bakir A, Saab BA, Roglic G, King H. Glucose intolerance and associated factors in the multi-ethnic population of the United Arab Emirates: results of a national survey. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2005;69(2):188–95.
American Diabetes Association. 2. Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2020. Diabetes Care. 2020;43 Supplement 1:S14-S31.
About the Author
Dr. Yousef Said is a German Board-Certified Specialist in Internal Medicine and Diabetology at GluCare. He graduated from the University of Cologne Medical School, Germany, and has a special interest in the diagnostic and treatment of Diabetic Foot Syndrome.