The tricky thing about prediabetes is that there are no clear symptoms, so you may have it and not know it.
But before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have prediabetes. It is a condition where blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Doctors sometimes refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose.
How likely am I to get prediabetes?
Prediabetes is often a precursor for diabetes, and it's your body's way of telling you there's still time to reroute the path you're currently headed down. The same risk factors increase your chances of developing prediabetes as diabetes. You are more likely to get prediabetes if:
• Diabetes runs in your family
• You are a member of a minority group, including African American, Latino, Native American or Pacific Islander
• You are overweight or obese
• You have high blood pressure
• You have high cholesterol levels
• You are pregnant
• You are not physically active
If you think you or any loved ones might be at an increased risk for diabetes, it is a good idea to get checked.
Getting checked for prediabetes
It's easy to get checked. At the doctor's office, your physician may give you one of a few tests. The glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It works by measuring the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.
Another way to diagnose prediabetes is the fasting blood sugar test. For this, a blood sample will be taken after you fast for at least eight hours or overnight. Though it sounds tedious, the problems people face with diabetes are certainly tougher.