Diabetes Federation estimates that more than half the South Africans who have diabetes don’t know they have it. And that’s just the start of it. According to Dr Larry Distiller at the Johannesburg-based Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, as many as five million South Africans are pre-diabetic, a sort of physiological fence-sitter where your blood sugar (glucose) is higher than normal, perhaps slowly inching its way up towards danger levels, but hasn’t quite tipped the scales at clinical “diabetes”. Yet. Pre-diabetes is asymptomatic, meaning you won’t feel it until it’s too late. A study published in Lancet in 2012 estimates between 70 and 90% of individuals with prediabetes will go on to become diabetic. And, once you’ve gone the Full (sugar) Monty there’s almost no turning back. But that doesn’t mean you can avoid the tipping point.
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