Prediabetes: Medical Myth Or Misunderstood Health Concern?

Cheerful woman deciding to eat healthily or not


There’s something about the term “prediabetes” – maybe it’s the “pre” – that makes it sound less worrisome than it really is. But prediabetes, a condition that can occur when blood sugar levels are elevated but not high enough to indicate full-blown diabetes, is a major public-health concern, one that everyone should learn more about.


If left untreated, prediabetes is often a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, one of the biggest health problems in the U.S. today. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, heart disease, and kidney failure.

Nearly half of Americans suffer from blood sugar-related issues. According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s estimated that more than 1 of 3 people in the U.S. have prediabetes and 9 out of 10 people with prediabetes don’t even know it. That’s because prediabetes is a “silent” condition, causing few noticeable symptoms. Because people with prediabetes don’t typically feel “sick,” many don’t seek medical attention for the condition.

Prediabetes, like diabetes, can be detected through blood tests. There are two common ways to test for healthy blood sugar:

  • Doctors can check your blood sugar after a period of not eating for 8 hours, which is called fasting blood glucose (FGB). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicate a healthy FBG level is less than 99 mg/dL.3
  • Doctors check your hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which measures your average longer-term blood sugar, representative of the past 2-3 months. The NIH indicates a healthy HbA1c is 5%.3

Type 2 diabetes usually requires treatment with medication. But prediabetes, if diagnosed before it progresses to diabetes, can be treated. Changes to your lifestyle can go a long way toward lowering blood sugar and keeping prediabetes in check.

Here are a few things you can start doing today to maintain healthy blood sugar levels: