Have you or someone you love been diagnosed with pre-diabetes? Here’s what you need to know.

What is pre-diabetes?

Prediabetes

If your blood sugar (glucose) level is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes, then you have pre-diabetes.

Are there other names for pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is also referred to as impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). It used to be called borderline diabetes.

But I feel fine… Some people with pre-diabetes have no symptoms. Others have some of the symptoms of diabetes. Regardless, you can have pre-diabetes and diabetes for years and not know it. High blood sugar can silently wreak havoc on your body, harming your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart. Pre- diabetes also puts you at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Does this mean that I will get diabetes? Up to 30% of people with pre-diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. But for some, pre-diabetes will resolve with early treatment that includes diet and exercise. 

Do I need medication? Smart food choices and physical activity can usually lower your blood sugar when you have pre-diabetes. Your doctor might prescribe a medication if you are at high risk for diabetes and have other medical conditions, such as obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, or hypertension.

prediabetes Should other people in my family get tested for pre-diabetes? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), anyone who is overweight and over age 45 should be tested for pre-diabetes. You should also consider testing if you are over age 45 or under age 45 but overweight and/or facing other diabetes risk factors.

What can I do about it? Treating pre-diabetes and delaying or preventing diabetes is all about controlling your blood sugar. You can do this by eating a healthful diet and not skipping meals, exercising moderately for at least 30 minutes five days/week, and losing just 5-10% of your body weight!

By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD

Content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your health care professional. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or prescribing any medication or other treatment.