Some Common Questions About Pre-diabetes

Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to diagnose it as diabetes. Studies has shown that majority of prediabetics develop type-2 diabetes within 10 years. It is therefore important to find out if you are prediabetics, because it is possible to delay/prevent development of type-2 diabetes if proper preventive measures are taken.

Why should I know if I have prediabetes?

The simple reason for knowing if you have prediabetes is that, majority of prediabetics will develop type-2 diabetes within 10 years and it is possible to delay/prevent development of diabetes from prediabetes by taking appropriate measures such as lifestyle modification (daily physical exercise of approximately 30 minutes), adopting healthy eating habits with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you know you have prediabetes you can take measures to prevent diabetes. There are also some oral hypoglycemic drugs which can help in preventing diabetes.

Should I get tested for prediabetes?

Everybody does not need to get tested for prediabetes. Test for prediabetes is generally recommended if you are overweight/obese and above 45 years of age. You also need to be tested for prediabetes if you have any risk factors of developing diabetes, such as family history of diabetes, if you are a female and gave birth to a large baby, you belong to some ethnic group with high prevalence of diabetes, unfavorable lipid profile (high LDL or low density lipoprotein and low HDL or high density lipoprotein) etc. So, next time when you go for routine medical check up, ask your doctor if you need to get tested for prediabetes/diabetes.

Can I have prediabetes if I do not have any risk factors mentioned above?

Yes, you can have prediabetes or even diabetes without having any of the risk factors mentioned above. Because prediabetes do not suffer from any symptoms and some diabetes (especially in early stage) also may not have any symptoms. Sometimes five years or more may lapse before diabetes is diagnosed and the disease may have already progressed and started causing complications.

How prediabetes is diagnosed?

It is diagnosed by any of the three methods, namely (1) Fasting plasma glucose test, (2) oral glucose tolerance test or OGTT and (3) by testing hemoglobin A1C.

What is the treatment for prediabetes?


The treatment for prediabetes is mainly aimed at preventing/delaying development of type-2 diabetes. Regular physical exercise such as brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is recommended. Change your dietary habits (and have diet for diabetes) to include more fresh fruits and vegetables. Exercise and diet will help reduce body weight if you are obese or overweight. Weight loss of 5-10% can make a huge difference.

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