Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 1 in every 3 adults has prediabetes.
A PERSON SHOULD GET TESTED FOR PREDIABETES IF
–Over 45 years old, or
–Overweight or obese, or
–Insulin resistant, or
–Rarely exercises, or
–A family member has diabetes, or
–In a high-risk ethnic group, Latino, Native American, African American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander, or
–A pregnancy resulted in gestational diabetes, or a baby born over 9 pounds, or
–Blood pressure is high, or controlled by medication, or
–HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) is less than 35, or triglycerides are high (over 250).
PREDIABETES AND DIABETES ARE TESTED BY BLOOD SAMPLE
–You can test for fasting blood sugar (fasting glucose) when you haven’t eaten for 8 hours or more. The normal range for fasting glucose is 70-99. Prediabetes is when fasting glucose is 100-125. Diabetes is 126 or above.
–You can test for hemoglobin A1C regardless of whether you have eaten. The normal range for A1C is between 4 and 5.6. Prediabetes is when A1C is between 5.7 and 6.4. Diabetes is 6.5 or above.
HOW TO PREVENT OR DELAY PREDIABETES
–Avoid sugary beverages. Try to avoid added sugars, including high fructose corn syrup. Choose a flavored beverage with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Even better, drink water, seltzer, or sparkling water.
–Include non-starchy vegetables at lunch and/or dinner. Non-starchy vegetables do not have much effect on blood sugar. Starches, including starchy vegetables, raise blood sugar. These include potatoes, peas, and corn.
–Choose whole grains more often, such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, couscous, brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal.
–If you are overweight or obese, losing just 5% to 10% of your body weight can reduce your susceptibility to prediabetes or diabetes.
–Increase physical activity. Exercise lowers blood sugar, burns calories, and reduces stress. A basic program includes cardiovascular exercise 3-5 days/week and resistance exercise 2 days/week.