prediabetes versus metabolic syndrome

By jsd2005 Latest Reply 2009-03-26 04:08:54 -0500
Started 2009-03-09 09:14:31 -0500

The phrases prediabetes and metabolic syndrome are confusing. Let's see if we can clear up the confusion and help you to understand what these terms mean.

The term prediabtetes is a relatively new term, coined in 2002. Impaired glucose tolerance use to be the phrase they termed someone who possibly had diabetes in their future. These phrases may still be use synonymously.

Prediabetes is a precursor condition to type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by higher than normal blood glucose levels and insulin resistance. It is also called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (depending on the test used to diagnose it with.)

The American Diabetes association estimates that approximately 41 million Americans between the ages of 40-74 are living with predaibetes and most are unaware of their condition. Without intervention and appropriate treatment, people with prediabetes are at risk for development of type 2 diabetes within 10 years. The ADA encouraged the change in the phrase as mentioned above as they felt that it would highlight the seriousness of the condition and motivate people to take responsibility to get appropriate treatment.
With early intervention and lifestyle changes, prediabetes may be slowed, stopped, and even reversed.

A condition that can be a precursor to insulin resistance also called syndrome X. Insulin resistance is so prevalent today that 80 million Americans suffer from this affliction.

The history of insulin resistance began when we started finding this condition in high numbers of Americans. Upon examination one common belief is that after consuming a high number of carbohydrates and simple sugars (by so many Americans) the body had to release high levels of insulin to keep the glucose from spiraling out of control. In time the cells quit responding and we became insulin resistant at this point in time.
You are at a higher risk for development of type 2, if you have a family history, suffered from gestational diabetes, hypertension, or a very overweight.

The term syndrome X was coined in 1988 by a Stanford University endocrinologist. The cluster of symptoms related to it had previously been termed insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Syndrome X is characterized by four characteristics: 1) abdominal obesity, 2) elevated levels of triglycerides and low levels of High-density lipoproteins, 3) Hypertension and 4) insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the hallmark of adult onset diabetes. Insulin resistance also lies at the core of Syndrome X. This hormone imbalance alters blood-fat ratios, raises blood pressure and increases fat storage.
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors in one person. These include;
Abdominal obesity (excessive
Fat tissue in and around the

Atherogenic Dislipodemia
(blood fat disorders) low
HDL and high LDL, and high Tri-


Insulin resistance or glucose

Prothombotic state High
finbrinogen or plasminogen
factors in the blood

proinfalmmatory state:
high C-reative Proteins in
the blood.

People with Metabolic syndrome or indu;in resistance are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease and other diseases related to plaque building in artery walls. It is estimated that over 50 million Americans have this condition.

The dominant underlying factor that affects all other risk factors in this syndrome appears to be the abdominal obesity and the insulin resistance. As insulin resistance is also a metabolic disorder thus why the metabolic syndrome is also called insulin resistance.

Other conditions associated with the syndrome include lack of physical activity, aging, hormonal imbalance and genetic pre-disposition..

The ADA characterizes this condition by the evidence of three or more of these conditions; elevated waist circumference, elevated triglycerides, reduced HDL,elevated blood pressure and elevated blood glucose.

Their recommendation to reduce risk of coronary artery problems include; weight loss to achieve desirable weight, increased physical activity, healthy eating habits.

So, prediabetes deals with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance and Metabolic syndrome deal with other factors that influence the development of coronary artery disease.
This syndrome may also indicate some from of glucose problem which may lead to type 2 diabetes.

Both of these syndromes affect most if not all us.
Which lends itself to a higher responsibility of knowledge, understanding and acceptance of the potential or present condition. We need to follow the recommendation as they certainly can aid us all in our quest to manage our diabetes.

Good Luck and I hope this helped everyone.

5 replies

Splender 2009-03-26 04:08:54 -0500 Report

I agree with everyone else— this information is very good to know especially for those who were newly diagnosed. I would like to think that after 20 years of being diabetic I'm still capable of still learning something new about diabetes. The more you know the better you can keep your sugars under control. Thanks.

katrich 2009-03-14 14:04:19 -0500 Report

Yes, thanks for the historical context.

jsd2005 2009-03-26 01:58:08 -0500 Report

This didn't come out of any book. Came from years of experience and knowledge on dealing with the subject of diabetes.
Also, had a month's worth of training to become a CDE in Kansas City, Kansas.

Sorry, entered this reply in the wrong place, was a comment to the last post regarding what book this came out of!!!!

lipsie 2009-03-09 09:23:19 -0500 Report

Yes, that was very helpful thank you. We do need to be aware of these things now a days. Thanks! Sheila

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