Prediabetes is a condition where the blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet in the diabetes range. Prediabetes is a sign of risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Individuals are considered to have prediabetes when fasting blood sugar or glucose levels are between 100-125 mg/dL; fasting blood sugar/glucose levels above125mg/dL are in the diabetes range and can require treatment.
|Fasting Blood Glucose|
|Normal||Less than 100 mg/dL|
|Diabetes||126 mg/dL or greater|
Prediabetes Symptoms & Testing
There are often no signs or symptoms of prediabetes, and in many cases patients are unaware they have prediabetes unless they are screened.
Our program screens diabetes or prediabetes in asymptomatic adults in accordance with the ADA Standards of Care 2022. A patient may have diabetes or prediabetes if they have the following:
- Testing should be considered in adults with overweight or obesity who have one or more of the following risk factors:
- First-degree relative with diabetes
- High-risk race/ethnicity such as African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander
- History of cardiovascular disease
- Hypertension or on therapy for hypertension)
- HDL cholesterol level
- Women with polycystic ovary syndrome
- Physical inactivity
- Other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance such as severe obesity, acanthosis nigricans
- Patients with prediabetes (A1C less than or equal to 5.7%) impaired glucose tolerance, or impaired fasting glucose should be tested yearly
- Women who were diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes should have lifelong testing at least every 3 years
For all other patients, that do not meet the above criteria, testing should begin at age 35 years.
- If results are normal, testing should be repeated at a minimum of 3-year intervals, with consideration of more frequent testing depending on initial results and risk status.
- People with HIV
Providers may use one of the tests or measurements below in order to confirm if a patient have prediabetes or diabetes:
- Fasting plasma glucose test: Measures glucose levels after a patient you have fasted for at least 8 hours.
- Glucose tolerance 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.
|Normal||Less than 5.7%|
|Diabetes||6.5% or higher|
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.
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:
- Increasing your level of physical activity to reach 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking four or more days a week
- Meal Planning:
- Balance meals with moderate amounts of carbohydrates, choose lean proteins and add non-starchy vegetables
- Choose water or sugar-free beverages and limit or avoid sugar sweetened beverages
- Getting 7–8 hours of uninterrupted sleep most nights
- Identify healthy coping skills to reduce stress
- Monitoring your health, taking your medications, and going to all your appointments
These diet and lifestyle changes can promote healthy weight loss and losing 7% of your body weight has been shown to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 58%