What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Prediabetes is a fairly “invisible” disease. You can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. If you have risk factors for prediabetes, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about getting your blood glucose tested. Prediabetes most often occurs in people who:
- Are overweight
- Are 45 years or older
- Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Are physically active less than three times a week
- Have a history of gestational diabetes—diabetes during pregnancy, or have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome
- Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Pacific Islander
How is Prediabetes Diagnosed?
Your doctor will use one or more of the following blood test to determine if you have prediabetes:
- A1C Test measures your average blood glucose level over the past 2 or 3 months. A person with prediabetes will have an A1C measurement between 7 and 6.4 percent.
- Fasting Blood Sugar Test are done after an eight to 12 hour period of going without food. People whose measurements fall between 100 and 126 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL) are considered to have prediabetes.
- Glucose Tolerance Test measures your blood glucose up to five times in a three hour period. First, a fasting blood glucose test is done. Then you drink a sweet liquid and have your blood glucose level measured at 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, and possibly three hours afterward. At 2 hours, a person with prediabetes will have a glucose measurement between 140 and 199 mg/dL.
Remember, if you are diagnosed with prediabetes, losing 5% to 7% of your body weight—just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person, fit in at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or a similar activity you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.