Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have "prediabetes" — blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Doctors sometimes refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used when it was detected. This condition puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, so, you may have it and not know it.
If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years.
Results indicating prediabetes are:
- An A1C of 5.7% – 6.4%
- Fasting blood glucose of 100 – 125 mg/dl
- An OGTT 2 hour blood glucose of 140 mg/dl – 199 mg/dl
You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.
Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
- Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
- Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Don't worry if you can't get to your ideal body weight. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference.