Diabetes is growing at an alarming rate. Already 73 million Indians have diabetes; and the number is likely to go up to 134.3 million by 2045.1 Diabetes leads to health complications which may include microvascular problems like retinopathy, leading to blindness, renal failure and diabetic foot disorders. However, there’s hope, experts feel that diabetes can be curbed at the initial stage by introducing lifestyle changes.
Prediabetes or borderline diabetes is an indication that you’re on the path to diabetes; but hold on as you aren't there yet! Of course, your blood sugar level is higher (100 - 125 mg/dL level of blood sugar) than what it should be in an ideal scenario (less than 100 mg/dL level of blood sugar); but you certainly have a chance to control your sugar level and prolong an entry in to the diabetes range.2,3 People who take prediabetes seriously may also be able to avoid diabetes in their lifetime.
In this article, we will walk you through seven stages that every prediabetic goes through. How long one stays in each stage depends on the individual’s unique personality. We will introduce these seven stages by telling you a story; this is Rajveer (40) and Vasundhara’s (38) story. The couple lives and works in Bangalore. Watch the video:
Stage 1: Shock/Disbelief. It’s hard to believe that you are a prediabetic. When Rajveer was first detected a prediabetic, he had several questions - Have I become a mid-lifer? Am I now prone to several health conditions? Will I have to quit sugar? How will a sweet tooth like me survive lifelong? Why am I asking so many rhetorical questions?
Stage 2. Denial. Once you internalize the finding, you get in to a mode of denial. No, I can’t be a prediabetic. Although I have gray hair springing up, I am too young to have such high sugar level. It’s possible that the test report is false positive; perhaps, I should get a second test done from elsewhere. I’m young and hip. I will be 18 till I die.
Stage 3. Anger. After you confirm and accept your prediabetic condition, you run in to a phase of anger. Ranveer went through the phase - OK, this is enough—cut the shit. I’m going to get drunk and binge watch every episode of Sacred Games and Stranger Things. And I’m having shots, several, namely Jell-O and Kamikaze. Don’t try to stop me.
Stage 4. Bargaining. As anger settles down, you start bargaining. Ranveer once again is oscillating; although his mind has accepted the fact, his heart is yet to accept that he’s a prediabetic. What if I had a few more years? Guess, I would have done charitable work. I would have taken better care of myself and others. It’s too early for me to be a prediabetic.
Stage 5. Guilt and Depression. Once your mind and heart are in-sync, guilt and depression make way. Ranveer started feeling that he had wasted it all, in fact every last second. Why didn’t I do more? Why didn’t I focus on balancing work and life? Am I really mid-life or will I die sooner than average life expectancy? What kind of son/ husband/ father am I? People say I have an accomplished career; I think I did not get my life right; I’ve failed miserably.
Stage 6. Calming down. When you confide with your loved ones, you get help. These anxieties are normal – both within you and around you. The stage of calming down brings you peace and new energy. Your mind is now open to exploring possibilities and you make peace with the new normal. Rajveer conducted extensive research on how to cut sugar and yet retain sweetness. He compared artificial sweeteners and natural sweeteners. He read more about lifestyle modifications. And he realized that being a prediabetic isn’t as bad as he believed it to be.
Stage 7. Acceptance and Hope. In this stage, you now have more acceptance and hope. You are well prepared to deal with your borderline diabetes. Rajveer now leads a more responsible life. In addition to quitting sugar, he has made several lifestyle modifications. He exercises daily and spends enough time with his loved ones. His new life motto is, “Rakho Mithaas Barkarar”.
Well, does this sound like Tata Nx Zero Sugar tagline; yeah, it is!
- IDF Diabetes Atlas - 8th Edition.; 5. W.H.O, 2016, Global Reports on Diabetes.
- American Diabetes Association (ADA)- Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2018. 41; Sup1, Jan 2018.
- International Diabetes Federation (IDF)- Clinical Practice Recommendations for managing Type 2 Diabetes in Primary Care. 2017. Published by International Diabetes Federation, Belgium.