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Is tingling in your feet a warning sign of prediabetes? Expert share risk factors health news


If you regularly experience cramps, burning, numbness and pain in your legs, you may be prediabetic, a sign that your body’s insulin levels are rising, Dr. Hyderabad-based neurologist Sudhir Kumar on Saturday.

Prediabetes can be defined as having higher than normal blood sugar levels and a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Known to increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and other serious illnesses, “prediabetes is taken seriously, however, not given the importance it deserves,” Dr Sudhir, a neurologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, told IANS.

Data shows that about 136 million people in India, or 15.3 percent of the country’s population, are pre-diabetic at some stage which can act as a wake-up call and prevent diabetes.

“People with prediabetes are also at increased risk of stroke, heart attack, peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), and retinopathy (which can lead to vision impairment),” says Dr. Sudhir.

One can easily determine their diabetes level using a simple blood test called HbA1C. The hemoglobin A1c (glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, HbA1c, or A1c) test is used to assess a person’s level of glucose control.

It shows the average of blood sugar levels over the past 90 days and is represented as a percentage. For many people, diabetes monitoring tests may show an HbA1C of 6 percent, and this is generally considered normal.

However, the doctor said that it is not. “A glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) of 6 percent is not normal,” says Dr. Sudhir.

“HbA1C greater than 5.7 is called prediabetes. More than 10 percent of patients with prediabetes may experience leg cramps, burning, numbness, and pain in the feet, a condition called prediabetic neuropathy.

“For an HbA1c test to be classified as normal, or in the non-diabetic range, the value must be below 5.7 percent. Anyone with an HbA1c value of 5.7 percent to 6.4 percent is considered prediabetic, while diabetes is diagnosed with an HbA1c of 6.5 percent or higher. can be done,” he explained.

Doctors caution, however, that an HbA1C target below 5.7 percent is “recommended only for healthy individuals or individuals with diabetes/prediabetes who are not taking medication.”

For those taking anti-diabetic medication, the “ideal HbA1C level is 6.5 percent”. “This is because tight control of people taking anti-diabetic drugs can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can cause serious complications,” he explains.

The key to lowering HbA1C levels is through “dietary carbohydrate restriction”.

“This can be achieved by avoiding or limiting sugar, molasses, honey etc. Sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, packaged fruit juices) and sweets should be avoided,” says the doctor.

He recommends cutting down on “rice, roti, idli, dosa, potatoes and fruits” and recommends a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training.