Prediabetes, sometimes called elevated blood glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, is a condition that is a warning sign that your body is not processing blood sugar (glucose) efficiently. By understanding that this is happening, you may be able to make changes to prevent or postpone developing actual diabetes.
There are different types of diabetes. In Diabetes Type 1, the body does not produce insulin and insulin must be taken to control the blood sugar. Diabetes Type 1 usually has an abrupt onset.
Diabetes Type 2 is a bit different. It develops over time, and the body may still produce some insulin. Diet and exercise choices greatly affect how the disease progresses. Understanding these lifestyle changes can prevent or decrease the chance of developing diabetes.
How is Prediabetes diagnosed?
A person is considered to have prediabetes if they have a Hemoglobin A1c in the prediabetes range. Guidelines vary, but this is usually in the 5.7%-6.4% range. (A person with a result of 6.5% and above is typically considered diabetic. The Hemoglobin A1c is a blood test your health care provider can order which gives an indication of what your blood glucose has been averaging over the past 3 months. If it is elevated, it can mean your body is not processing the foods you eat into energy properly, and that your blood glucose has been running higher than normal. There are other ways to check for diabetes or prediabetes, so if you are concerned, make sure to discuss things with your healthcare provider to determine if and what tests you need to be done.
Who is at risk for Prediabetes?
Risk factors for Prediabetes are a family history of diabetes and being overweight or inactive. Other risk factors include race, age, and a history of gestational (pregnancy-related)diabetes. Discuss with your healthcare provider if you are at risk.
What if I have Prediabetes?
Finding out early that you have Prediabetes is an opportunity! It is an opportunity to develop healthy eating habits and to learn about healthy food choices. It is an opportunity to make healthy physical activity a part of your life. It is an opportunity to work with your healthcare provider to control your blood glucose levels, and an opportunity for you to live the healthiest life possible!
Linda M Groll, RN. Linda is the Care Manager for Downey, Lava and Preston Health West Clinics. She has worked as a Registered Nurse for 37 years.