As the name suggests, pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs prior to the development of full-blown diabetes. People who have pre-diabetes have higher blood sugar levels than normal, but the levels are not considered high enough for an actual diagnosis of diabetes. Having prediabetes, of course, increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also increases the risk of developing heart disease of suffering a stroke.
Almost every patient that is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has pre-diabetes first. People who are most at risk for developing pre-diabetes include those who are over the age of 45 years old, individuals who are obese or overweight, people who are not physically active, those who have a family history of diabetes or who had diabetes during pregnancy, and individuals who have an Africa, Asian, Native American, Hispanic or Pacific Islander ethnic or racial background.
If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, the only way to avoid developing type 2 diabetes is to make serious lifestyle changes, with an intense focus on modifying your diet and physical activity levels. If your doctor suggests a pre-diabetes diet, here’s a look at 6 important things that you should know.
1. The diagnosis of pre-diabetes
The symptoms that are associated with pre-diabetes are similar to those of type 2 diabetes. This includes an increased need to urinate, an unquenchable thirst, unexplained weight loss or gain, and several other symptoms. Your doctor will perform one of two tests to determine if you have diabetes: a fasting blood sugar test or measuring the A-1 C levels in your hemoglobin. With the former, if your results are between 100-125 mg/dL, you are considered pre-diabetic; with the latter, if your levels are between 5.7 and 6.4, you are considered pre-diabetic.