What is Pre-Diabetes and Who is at Risk?
What is Pre-Diabetes and Who is at Risk?

What is pre-diabetes?

  • A person who has higher than normal blood sugar but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes
  • Blood tests help determine if a person has pre-diabetes
  • Persons with pre-diabetes are at risk of developing diabetes
  • Diabetes is a lifelong health condition that keeps sugar in the get to the cells that need it.

How do I know if I have pre-diabetes?

  • There are usually no symptoms of pre-diabetes.
  • The best way to diagnose pre-diabetes is by a blood test:
  • A fasting blood sugar (FBS) or a oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

What is a fasting blood sugar (FBS) test?

  • This means that a sample of the blood is drawn usually in the morning–after not eating or drinking (except water) for 8-12 hours
  • The concentration of glucose or sugar in the blood is examined
  • FBS results:
    • Pre diabetes=100-125 mg/dl
    • Diabetes=126 mg/dl or higher
    • Two FBS are required to confirm diagnosis
    • A normal FBS is below 100 mg/dl

What is mg/dl?

  • This means milligrams/deciliter
  • mg/dl is a unit of measurement used to measure blood sugar concentration
  • This measurement may also be written as mg%

What is oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)?

  • A 2 hour oral glucose tolerance test
  • This test usually follows an FBS
  • The person being tested is given a concentrated sugar drink
  • 2 hours after the sugar drink, another blood test sample is drawn to check the level of glucose present in the blood

OGTT results

  • OGTT measures fasting blood sugar before and after a person drinks a solution containing concentrated glucose (sugar),
  • OGTT results mean pre-diabetes if:
    • FBS is 126 mg/dl or less
    • And the second test is 140-199 mg/dl two hours after the glucose drink

Who should be screened for pre-diabetes?

  • ALL overweight adults and adolescents
  • Those with one or more of the following:
    • Family history of diabetes
    • High bad cholesterol, high triglycerides
    • High blood pressure
    • History of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing 9+ pounds
    • Being Native American
  • Because of the high rates of diabetes in Native Americans all overweight adolescents and adults should be screened yearly for diabetes.

Taking care of pre-diabetes can prevent diabetes

The good news is:

  • A person who has pre-diabetes can prevent or delay getting diabetes, if they eat a healthy diet and get daily physical exercise
  • Some persons with pre-diabetes may be placed on low dose diabetes medication to help lower the blood sugar

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