Prediabetes, is also known as “impaired glucose tolerance” or “impaired fasting glucose,” is a health condition with no symptoms. It is almost always present before a person develops the more serious type 2 diabetes. About 79 million people in the U.S. over age 20 have prediabetes with blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but are not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
More and more, doctors are recognizing the importance of diagnosing prediabetes as treatment of the condition may prevent more serious health problems. For example, early diagnosis and treatment of prediabetes may prevent type 2 diabetes as well as associated complications such as heart and blood vessel disease and eye and kidney disease.
Who Should Be Tested For Prediabetes?
You should be tested for pre diabetes if:
- You’re 45 years of age or older.
- You’re overweight with a BMI (body mass index) of 25 or over and have any of the following risk factors for diabetes:
- You are physically inactive.
- You have a first degree relative with diabetes.
- You have a history of gestational diabetes or delivering a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds.
- You have polycystic ovary syndrome.
- You have high triglycerides or low HDL (good) cholesterol.
- You have had abnormal blood sugar tests in the past.
- You have a history of heart disease.
- You have any signs of a condition called insulin resistance (such as severe obesity or a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans).
How To Determine Whether You Have Diabetes, Prediabetes Or Neither?
Doctors can determine whether a patient has a normal metabolism, prediabetes or diabetes in one of three different ways – there are three possible tests:
The A1C test
- at least 6.5% means diabetes
- between 5.7% and 5.99% means prediabetes
- less than 5.7% means normal
The FPG (fasting plasma glucose) test
- at least 126 mg/dl means diabetes
- between 100 mg/dl and 125.99 mg/dl means prediabetes
- less than 100 mg/dl means normal
An abnormal reading following the FPG means the patient has impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
The OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test)
- at least 200 mg/dl means diabetes
- between 140 and 199.9 mg/dl means prediabetes
- less than 140 mg/dl means normal
An abnormal reading following the OGTT means the patient has impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
By identifying the signs of prediabetes before diabetes occurs, you can prevent type 2 diabetes altogether and lower your risk of complications associated with this condition, such as heart disease.Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day coupled with a 7% weight loss produced almost a 60% reduction in diabetes.