Prediabetes: What is it, Anyway?

Prediabetes is when the body's blood sugar levels are slightly elevated, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. 

At this stage, an individual has the chance to make changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

According to the CDC, it is estimated that 84.1 million Americans have prediabetes. Without blood tests, it often goes unnoticed/undiagnosed, because prediabetes has no symptoms.

Testing is usually done through an A1C or Fasting blood sugar.

In general for an A1C test:

  • A1C below 5.7% is normal
  • A1C 5.7 to 6.4% is prediabetes
  • A1C 6.5% and higher is type 2 diabetes

For a fasting blood sugar test:

  • 100 mg/DL is considered normal
  • 100-125 mg/dL is prediabetes
  • 126 and higher is type 2 diabetes

To confirm the diagnosis, these tests may be performed twice on two different days.

Prediabetes is associated with cardiovascular disease, high levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood, hypertension, and insulin resistance. Additionally, people with prediabetes have a risk of developing type 2 diabetes that is six times greater than those who have normal blood sugar.

The good news is that prediabetes does not have to become diabetes! There are many things you can do to prevent or delay diabetes: improving diet, increasing physical activity, getting enough sleep, changing how you handle stress, etc. Speak with your health guide or dietitian to learn more.

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