Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Prediabetes
Prediabetes is when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and may have some problems from diabetes already.
People with prediabetes often don’t have symptoms.
In fact, millions of people have diabetes and don't know it because symptoms develop so gradually, people often don't recognize them. Some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of diabetes include:
- unusual thirst
- frequent urination
- blurred vision
- extreme fatigue
- frequent infections
- cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
- recurring skin, gum or bladder infections
Know your risk.
If you are overweight and age 45 or older, you should be checked for prediabetes during your next routine medical office visit.
If your weight is normal and you're over age 45, you should ask your doctor during a routine office visit if testing is appropriate.
For adults younger than 45 and overweight, your doctor may recommend testing if you have any other risk factors for diabetes or prediabetes, including:
- high blood pressure
- low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides
- a family history of diabetes
- a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- belonging to an ethnic or minority group at high risk for diabetes
There are three different tests you can take to determine if you have prediabetes.
Doctors can use a fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), or an A1C test to detect prediabetes.
You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes.
If your blood glucose levels are in the normal range, get checked every three years, or more often if your doctor recommends it. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years after you are told you have prediabetes.
Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
- Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
- Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Don't worry if you can't get to your ideal body weight. Losing just 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.
Prediabetes is the same as Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose.
Doctors sometimes refer to high blood glucose levels as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used to detect it.
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