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Pregnancy & ChildbirthWellness & PreventionTreatment & Care

Pre-Diabetes Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of any three of the following conditions:

  • Waist measurement of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women
  • Triglyceride levels of 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or above, or taking medication for elevated triglyceride levels
  • HDL, or “good,” cholesterol level below 40 mg/dL for men and below 50 mg/dL for women, or taking medication for low HDL levels
  • Blood pressure levels of 130/85 or above, or taking medication for elevated blood pressure levels
  • Fasting blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dL or above, or taking medication for elevated blood glucose levels

What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

People with pre-diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is sometimes defined as the form of diabetes that develops when the body does not respond properly to insulin, as opposed to type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin.

Studies have shown that most people with pre-diabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight—about 10 to 15 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds—by making changes in their diet and level of physical activity. People with pre-diabetes also are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

What are the symptoms of insulin resistance and pre-diabetes?
Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes usually have no symptoms. People may have one or both conditions for several years without noticing anything. People with a severe form of insulin resistance may have dark patches of skin, usually on the back of the neck. Sometimes people have a dark ring around their neck. Other possible sites for dark patches include elbows, knees, knuckles, and armpits. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans.

How are insulin resistance and pre-diabetes diagnosed?
Healthcare providers use blood tests to determine whether a person has pre-diabetes but do not usually test for insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can be assessed by measuring the level of insulin in the blood. However, the test that most accurately measures insulin resistance, called the euglycemic clamp, is too costly and complicated to be used in most doctors’ offices. The clamp is a research tool used by scientists to learn more about glucose metabolism. If tests indicate pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance most likely is present.

Diabetes and pre-diabetes can be detected with tests. With an emphasis on preventive care, Woman’s Metabolic Health Clinic offers specialized services for women ages 16 and up with a history of insulin resistance / metabolic syndrome. Each member of our multidisciplinary team is devoted to providing your patients with “pre-diabetes” who are facing metabolic health challenges with the tools and information necessary to live healthy, productive lives.