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There are three ways of diagnosing prediabetes:

  • People who have high blood glucose after not eating for at least 8 hours have “impaired fasting glucose.”

After fasting for 8 hours, a healthy person’s blood glucose levels are usually less than 100 mg/dl. A person with diabetes has blood glucose levels higher than 125 mg/dl. People who don’t fit into either category—with levels between 100 and 125 mg/dl—are described as having prediabetes.

  • People who experience a large rise in blood glucose after consuming a concentrated sugar drink have “impaired glucose tolerance.”

Health care providers diagnose this condition by testing a patient’s blood glucose 2 hours after the patient consumes a sweet drink that contains 75 grams of sugar (oral glucose tolerance test). Healthy people have blood glucose levels less than 140 mg/dl. A person with diabetes has blood glucose levels higher than 200 mg/dl. Persons whose blood glucose levels fall in the middle, between 140 and 199 mg/dl, have prediabetes.

  • People with hemoglobin A1C levels between 5.7% and 6.4% fall into the “category of high risk for diabetes.”

People with normal blood glucose have hemoglobin A1c levels below 5.7%. People with diabetes have levels 6.5% or greater. Someone whose A1c levels fall between the two cutoffs are in a category of high risk.

Should I be screened for prediabetes?

Talk to your health care provider if you…

  • Are 45 years or older
  • Are overweight (body mass index of 25 kg/mor greater; in Asians, 23 kg/mor greater)
  • Have a family history of diabetes in a first-degree relative (parents, siblings, children)
  • Have a history of gestational diabetes
  • Belong to a minority racial group

Don’t lose hope…

A prediabetes diagnosis does not mean that a person will definitely develop type 2 diabeteshealthy lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your risk of developing diabetes and delay its development. These changes may include:

 

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