What Is the Difference Between Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes?

Every day, more Americans are being diagnosed with either Pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Pre-Diabetes is the state before actually having type 2 diabetes, where sugar levels are already higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. According to statistics, without intervention it can lead to type 2 diabetes within a period of 10 years. Someone would only be considered a diabetic after crossing the threshold to type 2 diabetes. These two diseases also differ in terms of blood sugar levels, signs and symptoms, management, reversibility, and levels of complications.

  1. The Importance of Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels. Sugar levels in pre-diabetics is higher than normal of up to 125 mg/dl. Remember that normal blood sugar is 70-80 mg/dl without meals and 120 mg/dl one or two hours after meals. Blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes starts at 126 mg/dl and above. There is very thin line between pre-diabetes and diabetes, just 1mg of glucose per deciliter of blood.
  2. Signs and Symptoms. Pre-diabetes often manifest no signs and symptoms aside from elevated blood sugar levels. Although acanthosis nigricans, a condition where there is darkening in some areas of the skin have been observed in people at risk. Meanwhile, type 2 is manifested by excessive thirst, urinary frequency, weakness, fatigue, and blurring of vision.
  3. Managing Your Disease. The best way to manage pre-diabetes is to lose 5-10 percent of your body weight, starting a regular exercise regimen, and regularly consuming a low-carbohydrate diet. Management for Type 2 includes all management listed above, plus taking sulphonylureas, biguanides, insulin, and other medications.
  4. Are They Reversible? Pre-diabetes is reversible, very simple but healthy changes in your lifestyle can prevent the progression to Type 2. On the other hand, type 2 is not curable, but with work, your symptoms can be reversed. When you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you can only manage its symptoms. Until today, diabetes remains to be an incurable disease.
  5. What Complications Can I Expect. The single complication of pre-diabetes is type 2. Whereas, diabetic-related complications include kidney failure, hypertension, stroke, retinopathy, blindness, and neuropathy.

No matter how different they are, both of these dreadful diseases require close monitoring and medical attention. You need to have regular blood testing as prescribed by your doctor. There are different tests and the hemoglobin A1C test is the most definitive. Lastly, both of these diseases share common goals – you need to lose weight, control your sugar levels and keep them within healthy limits.

Treatment For Diabetes – Options Discussed


If you’ve just been diagnosed with Diabetes then you’ll most likely be tired and sleepy all the time. You’ll be suffering from constant fatigue and you’ll be desperate for your situation to improve. You’ll also be shocked. It can be difficult to take in especially as Diabetes is a condition that will be with you for the rest of your life. But, bear with me for 10 minutes while you read this article. Because you’re going to hear the details about Diabetes Type 1 and Diabetes Type 2, as well the treatment for both types of Diabetes. So take a few deep breaths and dive in. The road to recovery starts right here.

Insulin 101 – The Key To Your Cells

You’ve got to know what insulin is because it’s what the treatment for Diabetes revolves around and it’s central to your condition. Think of Insulin as a Key. Oxygen is carried by Iron down the bloodstream where it meets Sugar or Glucose as we in the medical profession call it. They combine to create energy. But that’s only the first part of the process. Insulin is created by your body and released into the bloodstream and its job is to unlock the doors of your Cells so that they can take that energy in. Without Insulin your cells get very little energy and so you’re constantly tired. To stop tiredness and stop fatigue then you’re going to need that Key.

Type 1

10% of Diabetes sufferers have this. It destroys the Cells in your body whose job it is to create your Insulin. So pretty soon you’ll be creating no Insulin at all. Meaning you’ll have no energy. All that vital Sugar goes unused and it will be wasted. Literally. When you go to the toilet your body will get rid of it.

Type 2

90% of people with Diabetes have this type. Unlike with Type 1 Diabetes, your body has Insulin. No problems there. No manufacturing issue. The Cells creating Insulin are fine. If you asked them, they’d say everything is going incredibly well. But despite this, your body can’t use the Insulin in the correct way. So this is more of an end-user problem and we call it Insulin Resistance. Since your body can’t use the Insulin it created, your blood Sugar rises and so you have fatigue.


The treatment for Diabetes starts out the roughly same for Type 1 and Type 2 sufferers. Firstly you’ll be given a Low Glycemic Diet and you’ll be asked to Exercise. The Glycemic Index is a scale measuring how different foods raise your blood Sugar. For your Diabetes you want to avoid like the Plague, foods that raise blood Sugar quickly. These are High Glycemic foods. Low Glycemic foods will stabilize your blood Sugar and these are typically foods that contain a lot of Fibre.

Next you’ll exercise once a day. It doesn’t have to be anything major. You’re not being asked to do 10 times around the track. But, 15 minutes of exercise a day will help stabilize your blood sugar.

For the Type 1 patients only.

There’s one extra thing you need to do. Since your body isn’t making any, you’ll need to be injected with Insulin. You can do this by placing a needle into your Arms, Legs, Buttocks, Stomach and Thigh. Not the friendliest treatment for Diabetes if you’re squeamish. But, it’s vital because without Insulin your constant tiredness will continue to get worse. To stop tiredness and stop fatigue you need the needle. If you can’t face the prospect putting a needle full of Insulin inside yourself, then you could use a pump. The pump is attached to container holding Insulin. It’ll put the needle in for you.

Type 1 Sufferers Can Breathe Again.

Yes, for you the treatment was much simpler. your body had no problems using Insulin. It had a problem making it. Once you’ve been injecting Insulin for a few weeks your levels will stabilize and your body will be using that Insulin to take energy into Cells. You’re not cured. You’ll always have Diabetes Type 1. But it should be controlled now.

Type 2 folks listen up.

So, you’re doing your exercise and you’ve gone on that Low Glycemic Diet. It should have helped a little, but it’s just the start in your case. You’ll need to now choose a medication. Because after all, your body still can’t use the Insulin you’re making, despite your efforts. So your blood sugar is probably still jumping up and down as your body tries to figure out what to do with all that Sugar it has no way getting into Cells. So you’re still tired and sleepy all the time.

You Need Medication


Try saying that three times. On second thoughts don’t because what you really need to understand is why it’s a recommended treatment for Diabetes. After a while it’ll stop your constant tiredness and relieve all of your other symptoms. Basically it helps your body make more Insulin, and it helps your body use that Insulin better. In other words you’re teaching your body how to correctly make use of Insulin.


As a type 2 sufferer you’ve got high Sugar levels because your body isn’t able to use Insulin to unlock your Cells. Without that Key to unlocking your Cells the Sugar just sits there in the bloodstream. Which ruins your sleep making you fatigued. Metformin as a treatment for Diabetes stabilizes your Sugar levels at the same time as helping you to respond to Insulin. So unlike Sulphonylureas, Metformin does not create more Insulin, it just teaches you to use it better and balances out your Sugar levels. It’s the best treatment for Diabetes and the most popular one.

DPP-4 Inhibitors – Assassinating the Assassin

These are a class of drugs which include: Januvia, Galvus, Onglyza and Tradjenta. If Metformin and Sulphonylureas fail to make an impact on your use of Insulin and your Sugars levels then these will be recommended. DPP-4 Inhibitors prevent the Enzymes in your body from killing Incretins. What are Incretins? Incretins help produce Insulin and if these guys aren’t dead then they’re alive. They’re alive and creating Insulin for your body. You need all the Insulin you can get since your body doesn’t know what do to do with it. Pretty soon with these Incretins alive, you’ll have lots more Insulin at critical times, and your body will learn how to use it better. DPP-4 Inhibitors by assassinating the Enzymes that kill Incretins, will also stabilize your blood Sugar.


This medication is used in the treatment of Diabetes to improve your resistance to Insulin. They do it indirectly. Your body itself doesn’t change, but rather the Insulin it’s producing becomes more sensitive so your body can use it easier. This medication also preserves Cells that produce Insulin. Think of it this way. The Insulin your had before was a Ford. Now it’s a BMW.

Final Thoughts

For those of you with Type 1 Diabetes you’re in luck. The treatment for Diabetes is much simpler than for those with type 2. Your body doesn’t produce Insulin. The lights are on but no Insulin is home. So you need a Diet, plus Exercise and Insulin Injections. Once you’ve got the Insulin you need you should be fine. For those of you with Type 2 Diabetes it’s a more complex situation. Diet and Exercise usually aren’t enough and there’s no point in getting Insulin injections because you already make enough. Your body just doesn’t know what to do with it. So you’ll need medication and I’ve listed the main kinds of medication you can get. My advice is to persevere with these until you find the right one. There’s no right answer,. What’s right for you could be the wrong medication for someone else. But, the good news is that once you’ve found what you need, your Type 2 Diabetes will be controlled.

Thank you for reading.

Hypoglycemia And Headaches

Hypoglycemia is said to develop when the blood level of glucose (the major source of energy to human cells) falls below a critical level of 2.2mmol/L. It is not a disease entity but a biochemical abnormality whose importance is on its effect on the brain.

Such effect is due to the fact that the brain is an obligate user of glucose and virtually depends on it as its source of energy and thus reduction of glucose has untoward effect on the brain.

A hypoglycemic headache is often described by patients as a dull throbbing headache that may be felt more around the forehead and temples and it is not the typical migraine headache and it may even cause cluster headaches in some patients. Other symptoms seen with hypoglycemic headaches may include sweating, tremors, palpitation, hunger, altered or change in the level of consciousness, visual disturbance, dizziness, anxiety and feeling of intense hunger.

It is important to note that the mechanisms that cause blood sugar to fall is known but medical science do not completely understand how hypoglycemia brings on the headache. It is postulated that the headaches may be as a result of impaired metabolism by the neuronal cells due to decrease in blood to brain movement of glucose which leads to poor metabolism and excretion of toxins and their accumulation and oxidative stress on the brain cells which may also cause swelling of the brain cells and tension leading to headaches. The headache may also be as the result of interplay between epinephrine and norepinephrine leading to secretion of cytokines that may mediate the headaches.

This is commonly seen in diabetics and may be due to the following:

1. Over treatment with insulin

2. Drug induced which occurs with the following drugs: sulphonylureas, quinine, salicylates, pentamidine

3. Decrease food intake without adjustment/poor adjustment of insulin dose

4. Excessive or prolonged exercise

5. Skipping meals

6. In cases of renal failure leading to poor clearance(excretion) of insulin in the urine leading to a prolonged action time in the blood

7. Excessive alcohol intake

It may also occur in non diabetics but not common after prolonged period of starvation with subsequent reduction in the glucose stored in the liver other causes include: Insulinoma causing and increased level in circulating insulin, endocrine deficiencies and postprandial reactive hypoglycemic conditions.

Diagnosis of hypoglycemia is usually made clinically using the Whipple’s triad which consists of symptoms consistent with hypoglycemia, a low plasma glucose concentration and relief of symptoms after the plasma blood glucose level has been raised. The blood level is usually obtained by doing a random blood sugar test during an episode of suspected hypoglycemia using glucostrips and a glucometer that reads up the value but when possible, a sample for documentation of the plasma glucose concentration by a quantitative analytical method should be obtained prior to treatment.

Eating small quantity of meals but at regular interval, carry a source of fast sugar when traveling or when at the gymnasium but also try to avoid eating lots of processed sugar with more of complex carbohydrate, proper adjustment of insulin dosage after consultation with your physician, avoiding skipping meals, reduction in alcohol consumption.

Treatment during a visit to your physician usually involves urgent infusion of glucose (dextrose) or ingestion of drinks with sugar or glucose tablets with the aim of raising the blood sugar and the headache usually subsides almost immediately after treatment and other accompanying symptoms also abate. You will then be advised by your physician on how you can prevent re-occurrence and a visit to a dietician for meal evaluation may be necessary and often very helpful.