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

What is pre-diabetes?

  • When a person has a higher than normal blood sugar but not high enough to be
    diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes, they are said to have pre-diabetes.
  • Blood tests determine if a person has pre-diabetes.
  • Persons with pre-diabetes are at very high risk of developing diabetes.
  • Diabetes is a lifelong health condition.. Type 2 diabetes, the type that most
    American Indian and Alaska Native people have, is a problem of high blood sugar. This is be-cause the sugar from food can't get into the body's cells. The cells use sugar for energy.
Why is it important to know you're pre-diabetic?
  • If you know you are pre-diabetic, you can learn how to decrease your chances of
    getting diabetes. You may actually prevent getting diabetes - and its complications.
How do I know if I have pre-diabetes?
  • There are usually no symptoms of pre-diabetes.
  • The only 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 different FBS tests 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)?
  • An OGTT is usually a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test.
  • This test may follow an FBS.
  • The person being tested has a fasting blood sugar test.
  • They are then given a concentrated sugar drink.
  • Exactly 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 100-126 mg/dl or less.
    • And the second test is 140-199 mg/dl two hours after the glucose drink.
Who is at risk for having pre-diabetes?
  • ALL overweight adults and adolescents.
  • Those with one or more of the following:.
    • Family history of diabetes.
    • High blood fats (also called 'lipids'), such as high cholesterol or high triglycerides.
    • High blood pressure.
    • High fat diet.
    • Little or no physical activity.
    • History of gestational diabetes (diabetes of pregnancy).
    • History of giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
    • Having skin changes where the skin (especially around the back of the neck and armpits) becomes darker and velvety - called acanthosis nigricans or AN.
    • Being Native American or Alaska Native.

  • Because of the high rates of diabetes in Native Americans all overweight adolescents and adults should be screened yearly for pre-diabetes and 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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