Are you one of the estimated 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older who has pre-diabetes?
If you have prediabetes, you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also are at increased risk of developing heart disease. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes.
First, let's define what "prediabetes" is and is not. Diabetes is defined as having a fasting plasma blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or greater on two separate occasions. If diabetes symptoms exist and you have a casual blood glucose taken at any time that is equal to or greater than 200 mg/dl, and a second test shows the same high blood glucose level, then you have diabetes.
In general, people who have a fasting plasma blood glucose in the 100-125 mg/dl range are defined as having impaired fasting glucose. If your doctor gives you an oral glucose tolerance test, and at two-hours, your blood glucose is 140-199 mg/dl, you have "impaired glucose tolerance". Either of these is medical terminology for what your doctor is probably referring to when he says you have "prediabetes." Be sure to ask your doctor what your exact blood sugar test results are when he tells you that you have "prediabetes." Some physicians are not as familiar as they should be with the new national guidelines for diagnosing diabetes. They may be telling you that you have prediabetes, when in fact you have actual diabetes
CDC 2017 Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, 90% don’t know they have it.
Who is at Risk for Prediabetes?
Among those who should be screened for prediabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older and those under age 45 who are overweight and who have one or more of the following risk factors:
- are habitually physically inactive
- have previously been identified as having IFG (impaired fasting glucose) or IGT (impaired glucose tolerance)
- have a family history of diabetes
- are members of certain ethnic groups (including Asian American, African-American, Hispanic American, and Native American)
- have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds
- have elevated blood pressure
- have an HDL cholesterol level (the “good” cholesterol) of 35 mg/dl or lower and/or triglyceride level of 250 mg/dl or higher
- have polycystic ovary syndrome
- have a history of vascular disease
That all said, if you have pre-diabetes diabetes, what should you do? Results of a large U.S. nationwide study released in August 2001 showed that even if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, you can reduce your risk by 58% through sustained modest weight loss and increased moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day.