Diagnosis of prediabetes
Your doctor can give you a blood test to check for prediabetes. He or she may want to test your “fasting blood sugar” first. Fasting blood sugar is your blood sugar level before you eat in the morning. If your fasting blood test shows that you have prediabetes, your doctor may want to do an A1C blood test. Or, your doctor may skip the fasting blood sugar test and go straight to the A1C blood test. This test provides information about your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. You should be tested for diabetes if you are age 45 or older. You should also be tested if you are younger than 45 and have any of the risk factors listed in the previous article.
Can prediabetes be prevented or avoided?
Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes can be delayed and even prevented. Usually this is done by losing weight if you are overweight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. The longer you have prediabetes or diabetes, the more health problems you may experience. So even just delaying the onset of the disease can help your health.
If I have prediabetes, can I avoid developing diabetes?
If you have prediabetes, the best way to avoid developing type 2 diabetes is by making changes in your lifestyle.
- • Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing just 7 percent of your starting weight can help delay or prevent diabetes. That means if you weigh 200 pounds, losing 14 pounds can make a difference. Weight loss also helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- • Exercise regularly. Exercise is an important part of diabetes prevention. Your exercise routine should include 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 times a week. This could include brisk walking, riding a bike, or swimming. Ask your doctor what exercise level is safe for you.
- • Follow a healthy diet. Eat foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins such as fish or chicken, and low-fat dairy. Don’t eat a lot of processed, fried, or sugary foods. Eat smaller portions to reduce the number of calories you take in each day. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks.
Your doctor might refer you to a dietitian or diabetes educator to help you change your eating and exercise habits.
Some people take medicine to help prevent or delay diabetes. Ask your doctor if this is a good option for you.
- FamilyDoctor.org (2018). Prediabetes. Retrieved September 13, 2018 from https://familydoctor.org/condition/prediabetes/?adfree=true