Prediabetes is a serious health condition marked by high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Although they are above normal, they are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Prediabetes usually develops in people who have insulin resistance. This means your cells don’t respond well to the hormone insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood. Too much glucose in your blood can damage your body over time. If you have insulin resistance, your body will make more insulin to try to make up for this inefficiency, but if your body can’t make enough insulin, your blood sugar will rise, leading to prediabetes.
If you have prediabetes, you have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and diseases such as heart disease and stroke.
Causes or risk factors for prediabetes include:
- Age (40 or older)
- Overweight or obesity
- Family history of diabetes
- History of gestational diabetes (develops during pregnancy)
You may not have any symptoms of prediabetes, but your doctor can use blood tests to check for abnormal blood sugar levels.
If you are 45 years old or older, your doctor may recommend that you be tested for prediabetes, especially if you are overweight.
Your doctor will evaluate blood tests to diagnose prediabetes. You may also get an A1C test, which checks blood sugar over a period of time. If you’re overweight, losing 5 to 10 percent or more of your weight can prevent or delay diabetes or even reverse prediabetes. Physical activity also helps to make your body's insulin work better. Your doctor may also prescribe medicine to help manage blood sugar levels.
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If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of prediabetes, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.
Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat prediabetes.