Prediabetes is a condition or stage that marks the onset of full-blown diabetes. It’s the stage where one needs to pay particular attention to as it determines whether one will eventually have diabetes or not. More than 41 million Americans within the age range of 40 to 74 are diagnosed with prediabetes. This number is on the high side, and you might also have prediabetes which you might not know about till you get tested. Prediabetes is an early diabetics stage, but it could be reversed from developing into type 2 diabetes.
Some people refer to prediabetes as impaired fasting glucose or glucose tolerance. The name it’s called depends on the test carried out to arrive at the diagnosis.
The diagnostic test for prediabetes reveals that the blood sugar levels are slightly above normal level, but not in the standard for it to be termed diabetes.
Prediabetic patients have a high chance of developing diabetes.
Statistics also show that approximately 11% of those diagnosed with prediabetes went on to develop type II diabetes each year. It’s also important to note that those with prediabetes mostly don’t have symptoms of diabetes. This is the reason why one needs to visit a hospital regularly to get tested for prediabetes symptoms.
Testing for Pre Diabetes
Generally, there are about two or three tests used by doctors to diagnose prediabetes.
The First one is Fasting plasma glucose test (FPG). This test involves measuring the blood glucose level very early in the morning usually before the first meal of the day.
The ideal level for fasting blood glucose should be less than 100 mg/dl. While for someone with prediabetes, the level can vary between 100 and 125 mg/dl.
If the value falls above 125 mg/dl, then the person is diagnosed to have diabetes.
The second test used to diagnose prediabetes is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
The OGTT test involves the measurement of one’s blood glucose twice daily with the first being before the first meal of the day and the second being after drinking a beverage rich in glucose.
Ideally, the blood glucose should be less than 140 mg/dl after two hours of drinking. In prediabetes, this value could be between 140 to 199 mg/dl. However, if it rises above 199 mg/dl, then the person is considered to have diabetes.
The third test that may be carried out is the A1c test. This test measures the amount of glucose sticking to hemoglobin for a period of three to four months ago.
Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen from the blood to cells to other cells of the body.
This test is vital in prediabetes as it determines the amount of glucose control within the past three months.
The normal hemoglobin A1c value is 5.6% or less. A patient with prediabetes will have an A1c value of between 5.7% and 6.4%, while any value above 6.4% suggests diabetes.
Conclusively, you might not readily know if you have prediabetes, because the condition doesn’t usually show any noticeable symptoms.
However, being overweight or having other diabetics risk factors could be a symptom. You should visit a doctor to carry out prediabetes screening to ascertain your status.