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Prediabetes is condition where the blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range. Prediabetes is a sign of risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Individuals are considered to be prediabetic when blood sugar or glucose levels are between 100-125 mg/dL; blood sugar/glucose levels ranging between 126-200 mg/dL are considered diabetic and can require insulin therapy.  

Prediabetes Symptoms & Testing

There are no signs or symptoms of prediabetes, and in some cases patients won't know they have it until they have already started to develop type 2 diabetes.  

Provider may use one of the test or measurements below in order to confirm if a patient have prediabetes:

  • Fasting plasma glucose test: This test measures glucose levels after a patient you have fasted for at least 8 hours. 
  • Glucose tolerance test: This test measures sugar levels after a patient has fasted for at least 8 hours plus 2 hours after taking a sugar solution provided by the lab. 
  • A1C: This test measures the estimated average levels of blood sugar over the past 3 months.

Understanding Your A1C

Your A1C helps determine your blood sugar control and is used to diagnose diabetes The American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C less than 7% to reduce long-term complications of diabetes.

Having an uncontrolled A1C or undiagnosed diabetes can lead to the following:

  • Eye problems and loss of vision/blindness
  • Dental problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage and disease that can lead to dialysis
  • Slower wound healing and higher risk for infection and amputation
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke

Regular follow-ups with your primary care provider and making healthy changes to your lifestyle can help control your A1C.

Diabetes Prevention

While individuals with prediabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, it is not too late to make lifestyle changes that will help decrease your risk.  

You can lower your risk for diabetes by:

  • Losing 7% of your body weight — this can reduce your risk by up to 58% 
  • Moderate exercise, such as walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week 
  • Monitoring your health, taking your medications, and going to all your appointments 
  • Modifying your lifestyle and diet 
    • Low-carbohydrate foods
    • Fewer calories
    • Less starchy foods
    • More vegetables
    • Drink more water