Pre Diabetes is also called impaired glucose tolerance, or impaired fasting glucose. In simpler terms a condition in which blood sugar is high but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also are at increased risk of developing heart disease.
You can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes, which include:
- Being overweight
- Being 45 years or older.
- Any family history of type 2 diabetes.
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week.
- History of gestational diabetes.
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Have given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds.
There are several ways to diagnose prediabetes. Your doctor will give you one of three simple blood tests:
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test:
This test is performed after a fasting state of 8-10 hours. You are not allowed to eat (can drink water) during this time.
The test results are:
- Normal if your blood sugar is less than 100mg/dl
- Prediabetes if your blood sugar is 100-125mg/dl
- Diabetes if your blood sugar is 126mg/dl or higher
Oral glucose tolerance Test:
First, a fasting glucose test is performed. Post which a 75 gm of glucose solution is given 2 hours after it, you will be given another blood test.
The test results are:
- Normal if your blood sugar is less than 140mg/dl after the second test
- Prediabetes if your blood sugar is 140-199mg/dl after the second test
- Diabetes if your blood sugar is 200mg/dl or higher after the second test
This is a blood test which shows the average blood sugar for the past 2-3 months, and can be used to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes. If you are a known diabetic it tells you the degree of control.The results are:
- Normal: less than 5.7%
- Prediabetes: 5.7 to 6.4%
- Diabetes: 6.5% or above
The tests usually need to be repeated on a second day to diagnose diabetes. If your doctor determines that your blood glucose level is very high, or if you have classic symptoms of high blood glucose in addition to one positive test, your doctor may not require a second test to diagnose diabetes.
If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years.
Results indicating prediabetes are:
- An A1C of 5.7% – 6.4%
- Fasting blood glucose of 100 – 125 mg/dl
- An OGTT 2 hour blood glucose of 140 mg/dl – 199 mg/dl
The good news is that cases of prediabetes that are identified early on can be reversed, preventing them from progressing into full-blown type 2 diabetes.
3 Key Lifestyle Changes to Make to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes are:
- Weight control
- Diet and Nutrition