Today is American Diabetes Alert Day which seeks to educate Americans on the seriousness of Type 2 diabetes and their risk factors.  You can take the free Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test here.  Today we’re sharing some additional information on our blog about pre-diabetes and preventing its development into Type 2.

Before being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, most people develop “prediabetes,” a serious medical condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal.

People with prediabetes often have no signs or symptoms, or don’t recognize them because they develop slowly over a period of time.

Risk Factors

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 are over age 45 – You should ask your doctor during a routine office visit if testing is appropriate.

If you are under age 45 and overweight – Your doctor should recommend testing if you have any other risk factors for diabetes, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides
  • History of gestational diabetes or delivering a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Belonging to an ethnic or minority group at high risk for diabetes, including African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, or Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders

Screening and Diagnosis

Screening guidelines for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes are as follows:

  • Fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dl or lower is considered normal.
  • Fasting blood glucose elevated to 100 – 125 mg/dl indicates pre-diabetes.
  • Fasting blood glucose elevated to 126 mg/dl or higher indicates diabetes.

If your blood glucose levels are in the normal range, follow-up tests should occur every three years. If your results indicate prediabetes, you should be re-tested every one to two years after your diagnosis.

Prevention and Treatment

If diagnosed with prediabetes, you can and should do something about it. Studies show that people with this condition can prevent or delay the development of Type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes, including:

  • Moderate weight loss (reducing total body weight by 7 percent)
  • Regular exercise (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week)

For some people with prediabetes, early enough intervention can actually return elevated blood glucose levels to the normal range.  Here are some additional ways to lower your risk.

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