What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is just what it sounds like—high blood sugar levels which are not quite high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes, but still concerning. Someone with prediabetes has problems with producing enough insulin or responding properly to insulin. In a decade or less, prediabetes can become type 2 diabetes without proper care. Early diagnosis of prediabetes can be a helpful wakeup call to prevent further complications and the onset of more serious diabetes.

Diagnosing Prediabetes

Your doctor can test for diabetes and prediabetes with a few simple steps. Taking these sooner rather than later can help you determine a plan of action to combat the negative effects to your health.

The following are a few blood tests your doctor may use to diagnose your condition:

  • Fasting Plasma Glucose Test: This test requires the patient to fast for 8 hours before taking the blood test. If the patient’s blood sugar is less than 100, the results are normal. If the patient’s blood sugar falls in the 100-125 range, the patient has prediabetes. If the patient’s blood sugar is 126 or higher, the patient may have diabetes.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test: For this test, the patient must take the fasting glucose test, drink a sugary solution, then take a blood test two hours later. If the patient’s blood sugar is less than 140 after the second test, then the patient is normal. If the patient’s blood sugar falls in the 140-199 range after the second test, the patient may be pre-diabetic. If the patient’s blood sugar is 200 or higher after the second test, the patient is diabetic.
  • Hemoglobin A1C Test: This test averages the patient’s blood sugar level for the previous three to four months. If the average blood sugar test results in 5.6% or less, the patient is normal. If the average blood sugar test results in 5.7%-6.4%, the patient has prediabetes. If the average blood sugar test results in 6.5% or above, the patient has diabetes.

These tests may be taken more than once for accuracy.

Make These Changes to Prevent Diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, take advantage of the early knowledge and take action to prevent your condition from worsening.

Here are some lifestyle changes that could prevent diabetes:

  • Control your weight – Those struggling with obesity have a greater chance of developing diabetes. Take some of the pressure off your body. Even the loss of 5 to 10 percent of an individual’s body weight can make a big difference in their overall health.
  • Liven up your lifestyle – Talk to your doctor to determine an exercise program that can help your condition. Walking, running, swimming, or other forms of cardio can strengthen your body and help prevent or manage diabetes.
  • Eat nutritiously – You’ve heard it all before. Ditch the junk food, the sugar, and the carbs for healthy proteins, veggies, and whole grains. It doesn’t have to be bland! Have fun scouring the internet for new recipes that will boost your health and happiness.

Changes like these can greatly lessen your odds of developing diabetes or other health problems. A healthier lifestyle can greatly improve your quality of living while protecting you from worsening prediabetes.

Nip Prediabetes in the Bud

If you have a family history of diabetes or are concerned you may be at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, don’t hesitate to schedule a checkup with a qualified medical professional at Whittier Hospital. Our caring staff can assess your condition and recommend treatments and lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of diabetes and greatly benefit your body.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.