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Prediabetes

What is it?

If you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, it means you have a blood glucose (sugar) level that is creeping up towards a very unsafe level. Your level isn't high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but it is abnormally high.

Your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased with prediabetes. Many people with prediabetes develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Prediabetes also raises the risk for heart disease and stroke. Once you've been diagnosed with diabetes it unfortunately remains with you for the rest of your life.

What you can do

But here's the good news: If you act now, you can slow your progression toward diabetes. You may even be able to prevent it altogether. The following tips can help:

  • Talk with your healthcare provider about starting an exercise routine.
  • Build up to moderate-intensity exercise for an average of 40 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week.
  • If you're overweight, aim to lose 5% to 10% of your body weight gradually.
  • Eat your usual foods in smaller amounts.
  • Limit fat intake to less than 28% of your daily calories. Get healthy fats from plant sources such as nuts. Eat little fat from animal meat, and avoid trans fat.

Also have your blood glucose rechecked at least once each year to see whether it has changed.

By taking positive steps now to control prediabetes, you can put yourself on the path to better health--a path that just might lead to a life without diabetes.

Know Your Numbers

You can't always count on symptoms-prediabetes and diabetes usually have none at first. But a simple blood test can reveal whether your glucose level is within normal limits.

Ask your doctor about the following tests, which measure your blood sugar levels. See how your numbers compare.

  Fasting plasma glucose test (mg/dL) Oral glucose tolerance test (mg/dL) A1C test (percent)
Normal 99 or below 139 or below Below 5.7
Prediabetes 100 to 125 140 to 199 5.7 to 6.4
Diabetes 126 or above (2 separate occasions) 200 or above 6.5 or above

Prediabetes Classes

If you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, we are here to help! In our prediabetes classes, our certified diabetes educators discuss ways to prevent diabetes through risk reduction. Specific topics covered include meal planning, label reading, dining out tips, portion control, and exercise for all levels. This is a self-pay class that does not require a physician referral.