Five Things You Should Know About Prediabetes

After announcing the expansion of Diabetes Stops Here and asking you which topics you’d like covered, we received a specific request for more information about prediabetes. A staggering 79 million Americans deal with this condition, and while it can lead to crippling health consequences, it can be avoided.

Here are five things you should know about prediabetes:

1. What is prediabetes? Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have prediabetes, a health condition where your blood glucose is higher than normal but not as high as if you had diabetes.

2. How can I find out if I have it? Your doctor can give you a blood test to tell if you have prediabetes (the same test that’s used to test for diabetes). At your next doctor visit, ask if you should be tested for prediabetes.

3. What can I do if I have prediabetes? If you have prediabetes, there are important steps you can, and should, take. Early intervention can turn back the clock and return elevated blood glucose levels to the normal range. Losing weight is an important step for most people with prediabetes, and the amount doesn’t have to be huge to make a difference.  A weight loss of just 10 to 15 pounds can really stack the odds in your favor. Coupled with 30 minutes of exercise each day and healthy food choices, you’ll be on your way. Talk with your doctor and visit our website to learn more about other ways you can prevent or reverse the condition.

4. Does this mean I’m going to develop type 2 diabetes? Prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes…but it doesn’t have to. Scientific studies show taking the above steps can often halt or at least slow down the progression of prediabetes so it doesn’t take a turn for the worse.

5. Where can I find help? You are not alone. It’s never too late to make healthy changes and the American Diabetes Association is here to help. Check out MyFoodAdvisor for tips on eating well and our website for ideas about fun ways to be physically active.

Does anyone have success stories they can share?

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65 Responses to Five Things You Should Know About Prediabetes

  1. Alissa says:

    Im 15 and two years ago i was told i had prediabetes and had to change my diet and weight to fix it. Today ive lost about 65 pounds and only need to lose about 15 more and ill be where i need to be.

    • angie fenton says:

      well done – keep it up – I just got diagnosed today and reading these comments has been inspiring and makes it a little less frightening

  2. LIna says:

    Good job Alissa:) I am prediabetic right now and working hard to bring my weight back down also with working out and the diabetic diet. I’m 42! It is working I have dropped 45 lbs since February and still have 40 to lose. But my blood sugar is under control now and I’m on my way to being healthier. Losing weight is not JUST about looking good. It also makes you feel good, more energetic. When the doctor ran my fasting blood sugar it read normal it was an A1C test that caused her to worry.

  3. Sharon says:

    You’re amazing, Alissa! Incredible job, Llna! I am inspired by both of you. I was diagnosed pre-d Nov 10 and Type 2 this June. I have lost 11 pounds by counting my carbs since the day I got the Type 2 “upgrade”. I still have 80 to 90 pounds to lose but they say even 10 pounds can make a difference. Small goals are encouraging. My bg is almost always in the range recommended by my doctor now except my morning number runs higher. Good luck to both of you and to all battling this condition!

    • khalida pervez says:

      i was diagnosed with prediabetes 4 yrs back. morning highs worry me although my a1c is normal, thank God. need some tips.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Sharon, I just want to make sure I read your post correctly. You were diagnosed pre-diabetic in november, then 7 months later you were full-blown diabetic? Can I ask what your pre-diabetic number was? I have been looking on the internet how soon Pre-diabetes can turn to diabetes. My husbands Glucose was 107 and does not take care of himself. So I am just trying to get a handle on when the full-blown diabetes will finally set in. (Roughly) Thanks!

  4. Harold Teran says:

    Hope

  5. Tahani says:

    hello, I am pre-diabetic and my a1c was very high around 9 for last diagnostic with doctor
    now I am with drug not insulin it’s just organized my blood sugar level called “Formate drug” If I did NOT take this drug my blood level be very high I think this drug made me forgetting to visit my doctor and I am worried now because long time not visit clinic Hope that not affect me and I will soon visit the clinic …. ** My diabetic really shooked me cause NO symptoms or any health problem I have before and till now *** ANY TIPS *_*
    Have a healthier life ALL ^_^

    • American Diabetes Association says:

      Hi Tahani, please do see your prescribing doctor or another health care professional if you are having side effects from your medication. It sounds like you have a clinic to go to, but you can always call 1-800-DIABETES if you’re looking for other care options in your area. Take care.

      • Derrick says:

        I’m not sure if I’m prediabetic or diabetic but I get really thirsty feel beyond tired numbness n tingling in half my left hand I’m always hungry now but have lost a lot of weight. Bout 10mnths ago it started with me eating a cup of cheap Ramon noodles and some chocolate then getting up and passing out my wife got me up I then started shaking and sweating which seems like low blood sugar I think from what I’ve read on internet. But since passing out 10mnths ago I don’t eat sugar and eat healthy and take chromomax,cinnamon vitamins and Natures Plus Ultra GHT Male for which helps a lot but I still feel bad during early morning hours when I wake up at 3am. I just got a blood test done and they said it was normal so I’m confused cause I know I’m at least prediabetic cause I can’t eat sugar anymore cause I get soo tired and feel really bad. I’m tired of feeling bad. I’m on disability for mental health and my Medicare only covers diabetes testing if your 50 or over and I’m only 37 so confused wondering if u need to buy a blood test meter n which meter?

        • Gorge says:

          I went to the doc an my A1C was 11 an he said I was diabetic an put me on metamorphin 1000mg n 2 other types of meds, but the meds were dropping my levels too low, I took them for a month an had to eat constantly jus to keep it up to a normal level, I stoped taking the meds an my levels are always between 105 n 117 evry morning an 2hrs after a good dinner I’m always around 123 or 138 if I eat a lil desert, it’s been 4 months with no meds should I be concerned of my A1C level? If so plz reply….. Thx

  6. Moraima says:

    I like to know more about this subject like what fruit can I eat and veggetable

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  8. eric says:

    Hello all!
    Just found out that I too have prediabetes and picked up some books and to be honest, I knew my eating habits were sure to catch up to me! But, nonetheless , I have two boys and most certainly have to make more better choices on my diet. So, I can really say it’s going to be a challenge! Thanks !!

  9. norma adams says:

    I TO AM PER-DIABETES JUST TOOK ANOTHER TEST AND CRISSINF MY FINGURES. I KNOW ITS.NOT ALOT VUT I LOST 6 POUNDS I WAS SOOOO HAPPY. GOOD LUCK YOU JUST HABR TO GET.UP AND MOVE AND EAT ALITTLE BETTER….GOOD LUCK ALL

  10. Kelly says:

    Hi! I’m Kelly. I’m 16, and I weigh 229 now. Please don’t judge me about my weight, I know I’m large for my age. About December of last year I found out I had prediabetes, and I tried excersizing and eating right. Then I went back about a month ago and the doctor said I’ve stayed the same weight. So he said try losing 4 pounds and then he scheduled me to come back for a check up and blood test. I got back august 28 and see what he says. In this past 3 weeks I’ve lost 15 pounds. When I found out I had pre diabetes my starting weight was 246. I am very scared about diabetes and I’m trying my best to lose weight. My goal right now is to get to 200 lbs (I want a realistic goal) then my next goal will be, to be 160lbs and so on. After reading online and knowing I’m not alone, really helps, thank you!

    • Thelma says:

      Bless u. No iv been Ther with the weight Ov recent always slim as a youngster an young mum then my kids grew I parted with old man then felt soooo alone an food became my friend an I could aford to eat better & more cos no one to share with u see. Bless u. You are doing great. U are a swan. Xxxx

    • denise says:

      get your thyroid checked

  11. B says:

    I am have problems with my sugar and I see all these post loose weight, thing is I am only 115 pounds and 5’5″ I am underweight for my height so why does it say stuff about weight, when not all diabetes need to loose nor is it the cause of it for everyone(

    • American Diabetes Association says:

      Hi B, it’s true that not everyone with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes is overweight; it is an important risk factor but one of many. Some people with type 2 are of normal weight, or only slightly overweight. In your case, it would just be important to maintain a normal weight through a healthy lifestyle — diet and exercise, plus medication if your doctor advises it.

      Thanks for reading!

  12. selsa says:

    Hi my dr drew blood last week today l received a call according to the nurse normal range is 65-99 mine is 116 does this mean I’m diabetic please can some one tell me

  13. Natalie says:

    Hi. My name is Natalie and I’m 15. When I was 13, I was diagnosed with pre diabetes. Since then I’ve been eating healthier and exercising more but I’ve only gained wait. Now, I weigh 300 pounds. Last week, I was tested for hypothyroidism and it turns out I have that as well. Now I’m on medication for that and I am on medication for high glucose because I’m apparently on the very edge of pre diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Hopefully I can lose weight now that I’m on thyroid medication. Honestly, I’m terrified. I’m only 15 years old. Why is this happening to me? I don’t get it. Anyway, thanks for all the inspiration. Hopefully I can make a change.

    • denise says:

      your thyroid runs you body the meds will help you get into shape fast just dont eat junk food or soda

  14. Sydney says:

    im 14, and I’ve been in for a fasting test and it wasn’t anything bad, but they want to keep checking on me but we had OHP (oregon Health Plan) but the system messed up and so we don’t have any insurance, so I can’t get tested, and I’m afraid because everytime I bend my arm it goes tingly and numb, and I’m afraid that that’s a sign ):

    • American Diabetes Association says:

      Hi Sydney, if you call 1-800-DIABETES, we may be able to refer you to a free or low-cost clinic where you can get tested.

  15. daevin says:

    Hi my names daevin, im 13 years old so if i do spell something wrong please forgive me. So, my dad and grandmother were dignosed with diabites at a mid age. My father had leukimia whrn he was about 4 and survived, i have no idea if he wouldve got diabites from that. But off topic, i have expiernced some weird symtomes that can be eaither pre or diabites. Ive been thirsty and had fatuige. But i dont have a blood gluclose tester to test it. Im kinda paranoide about illnesses because im a athlete but whatever god puts me through i know is for the best. I was just eondering on what you guess opinion about my problems are. Thanks for your time.

    • American Diabetes Association says:

      Daevin, only a medical professional can diagnose you with diabetes. If you have symptoms that concern you, please follow up with a doctor. If diabetes runs in your family, it does put you at higher risk. That doesn’t mean you will develop diabetes, but it’s worth seeing a doctor to find out what is going on.

  16. shiva says:

    Hello. thanks for your information.I have a son aged 14 years old today i had blood test sugar at home that was 106 .that made u worried .If he he’s diabetic or no? he didn’t eat food for 12 hours after 12 hours he made that test .could you please guide me .
    thanks

    • American Diabetes Association says:

      Shiva, only a health care professional can diagnose a person with diabetes. Please follow up with your son’s doctor if you have concerns.

  17. shiva says:

    Hello
    I have a son aged 14 . i’m worried because there was a test at home blood sugar test that was 106 that is why I’m worried .could you please guide me if he is diabetic or no
    thanks

    • American Diabetes Association says:

      Shiva, only a health care professional can diagnose a person with diabetes. Please follow up with your son’s doctor if you have concerns.

  18. shahid says:

    Thanks for your help and support to the people. I do not know whether I am prediabetic or not, but whatever I have learned from American Diabetics Association, It shows that I may or may not be Prediabetic.My A1C test is 5.6 and my fasting blood glucose test always remains above 100, sometimes it remains in between 100-120. I am 33, I am not overweight but I pass urine frequently soon after drinking water. please tell me what does this suggest?

    • Jeff says:

      hi Shahid,

      When was the last time you had your fasting glucose test taken? I just had my blood test results and nurse practioner said my blood sugar level is bit high 120. They need to draw my blood again next week inable for them to diagnose if i am diabetic. Have you got yours lower than previously tested? I would appreciate any reply from you or to others here 🙂

  19. Marisa Somel says:

    Hello. I would like to find out what direction I need to go. I was just diagnosed as prediabetic. I’m 42, am an active comletitive athlete who trains 5 – 6 days a week, not over-weight, eats relatively healthy, doesn’t drink to much, (although for 7 years in my 30’s, I woukd drink about 4 – 5 drinks on a weekend out with my husband).

    I want to know how someone so active can be prediabetic, (is it common?), and also what I should start doing now as far as managing it, (as I’m already doing most of what’s recommended, and became prediabetic anyway).

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  20. Back From The Brink says:

    I had fasting blood sugar levels of 6.8 mmol, but now I’ve managed to bring it back down to 5.4 mmol which is normal. My question is now what do I do? I was using the 5:2 Fast Diet to lose the weight and lost 10kgs. Now I only fast once a week, but can I stop now that my blood sugar levels are normal? Pretty sure I can maintain this weight without the fasting but could my sugar levels go up again?

  21. Chyna B. says:

    Hi everyone…my doctor just told me that my A1C is normal but I’m still PRE-DIABETIC.Im was taking HCG DROPS.I weight 338 now.I stopped the drops & now thinking about taking 48 HOUR JUICE CALLED HOLLYWOOD JUICE.The juice info said not for diabetics.I guess cause it has 22g sugars,I’m not sure.I have taken it before though.Can somebody give me some feed back on what you think….THANKS IN ADVANCE

    • angie fenton says:

      obviously not – you know that or you would not be asking – if it says not for diabetics then don’t risk your life pal – please

  22. Jennifer says:

    I have lost 30 pounds and my blood sugar has risen to 120. Why is that? I thought losing weight would lower my blood sugar.

    • Jon says:

      I see your comment is a few months old but to give you one theory on why this happens is that losing weight is a stress to the body so cortisol a primary stress hormone is released during times of weightloss as the body perceives that burning body fat stores means starvation so it releases cortisol which scavanges energy for immediate use which it converts into glucose. Often times people with already impaired insulin sensitivity have a tougher time with this adverse reaction of weight loss because the cortisol increases already high blood sugars even higher. Combine this with the fact that cortisol levels tend to rise early morning and there you have a recipie for a higher fbg during periods of weightloss. Sucks 🙁 but don’t give up, maybe just try to lose weight alittle slower to mitigate the cortisol release. Good luck!

  23. riaz says:

    my question is that if a person have PRE-DIABETIC can he should be normal through dieat plan and reducing weight.

  24. Claud says:

    should a pre diabetic be put on medication? My doctor put me on Glucophage 500 mg x2 daily

  25. Tiffany says:

    Hi All
    Last year I was diagnosed with pre diabetes I also have hypertension which is uncontrolled even though I’m on four different meds. I am a 39 yo mother of four boys. I am 5’2 and I weigh 180 pounds. My mother, uncles, and cousins as well as aunts all are insulin dependant. As a result of diabetes one of each are amputee, blind, or on dialysis. As of recent I myself have been feeling very unusual, extremely thirsty, irritable, foamy urine, blurry vision, I feel like they are pins and needles in my hands and feet. The other thing is that my skin always itches. I often feel like I’m going to pass out. I also have protein in my urine and my creative levels are abnormal. I feel like my body is breaking down . I’m dizzy laying down. Could this pre diabetes stuff progressed. I really don’t want to hear any bad news. In addition to this my feet and legs are so swollen I can’t fit unto my shoes. It also seems like if I get a cut or wound it takes forever to heal…. Ughhhh

  26. Sylvia says:

    I am only 15 and as far as I know am a normal weight. (128 lbs and 5ft 7.5 inches). However for the past while I notice when I eat a lot of sugar my urine smells sweet. Does this mean I have prediabetes? Both grandfathers had diabetes so I know I am at risk. I really don’t want to tell anyone about this yet, so what should I do? I’m cutting back my sugar intake and eating more veggies as well as trying to get in more exercise when I’m not at school… Should I lose weight? I’m not sure if it’d be healthy for me to since I think I’m at a good weight and people tell me I am thin. I am really terrified of getting diabetes… If you say I should tell someone please realize that I don’t have anyone I trust to tell…

  27. Atsuko Kiroshima says:

    I am skinny but I only eat quite a bit of sugar and I eat carbs and nothing else should I really worry about getting diabetes and will it effect my life allot or just a little bit?

  28. Elcarim says:

    My hemoglobin AIC test says 5.7, does that mean am prediabetic?

  29. Michelle says:

    I just received a letter from my doctor regarding my blood test results, it said I am pre-diabetic. The suggestions it had on the letter said to exercise, lose weight, eat a balanced diet….that was it. I really don’t know what to do because I am only 32 years old, weight 140 lbs, not really over weight, I exercise and I eat a balanced diet. I do eat junk food occasionally, maybe pizza once a week and fast food for lunch about twice a week. I never thought I had an unhealthy life style and not sure what else to do. I drink about 60 ounces of a day…I am just confused. I’ve seen what diabetes and medicine to treat diabetes can do and all of its side effects… definitely worried.

  30. Rahul Dwivedi says:

    hi, I am 25-year-old, I assume my prediabetic conditions as I have to go for urination just after drinking water( in <1 hr), sometimes blurred vision, prone to skin infections but my weight is constant around 50 kgs. Do just these symptoms are enough for prediabetic conditions or I have to go for blood sugar check?

  31. Kris says:

    It appears my husband should have been diagnosed with prediabetes last year and was diagnosed with T2 this week with a fasting bg of 134. His parents have decided that it was a mistake and the lab work is wrong…can’t happen that fast…they are not doctors or medical people. Hubby is almost 56, weighs over 350lbs, carries the weight high and in front, and has had high blood pressure since childhood. He eats a very high carb diet. Is this a reasonable time frame of going from pre to full blown diabetes?

    Thanks for any help!

  32. Jodi says:

    I bought a book about a month ago called the 8week blood sugar diet by Dr. Michael Mosley. It used to be called the ‘Newcastle’ diet as it was devised by a Doctor from Newcastle University. It is a drastic diet to help those who are already type 2 or borderline. There are so many testimonials in the book regarding lots of people who have had type 2, on meds, etc. etc. but who have been able to bring their levels right down to normal.

    I have been diagnosed with diabetes – type 2. This was not from a fasting blood sugar test, but from an all inclusive test. I haven’t yet had any major follow up e.g. the glucose intolerance and fb tests yet but I was on the diet before I got my results. Before I have these tests done, I want to have been on the above diet for three or four weeks. Apparently the doctors now (at least in the UK) prefer to approach the problem with strict diet and exercise programme to get patients’ readings down to normal rather than use medication, as medication is far less successful. The book is very cheap to buy on Amazon – under £4 and the best money ever spent. I shall come back here again in a few weeks to give an update, about my condition and my weight.

    If anyone reading this – no I don’t have any vested interest in the book! But if anyone reading this wants to get their life back on track healthwise, then spending a few pounds to do so (you won’t be spending as much money on food so the book will pay for itself!) would be the best investment you could ever make. Even if someone has had diabetes for several years, apparently this also works. Here is the title again: THE 8-WEEK BLOOD SUGAR DIET BY DR. MICHAEL MOSLEY with a foreword by Professor Roy Taylor (who devised the diet).

  33. Nicole De La Cruz says:

    Hello my name is nicole . I just recently went to the dr. For a check up on how I was dizzy an tired alot the last 2 months. An also how my hand would go numb then come back an how my left foot recenter swells up all the time then goes down then swells. The dr asked me if anyone was Diabetic in my family an I said yes my ?om why . He said because one level in my blood is not diabetic but I’m close to the border of it. Now I’m worried because I’m in a wheelchair walk a little with help an stand . I workout 2 days a wk an at home . But I’m very scared. I’m freaked out with losing a foot. Is that possible in my case?

    Also I’ve been trying to eat with keeping my sugar below 29. Is that correct an can some one perhaps five me a diet to follow .

  34. Jen says:

    I’m really scared. My daughter has gained a lot of weight but has slowly lost a few pounds in the past few months. The other day she wouldn’t stop eating and drinking loads of sugar. Then she went to sleep. I was really curious, so 3 hours after she fell asleep, I checked her blood sugar with my husband’s meter. It was 295!!!!!!!!! So, I’m REALLY curious what pre-diabetes looks like??????

    • Leigh says:

      Please have your daughter’s doctor give her an A1C test as soon as possible as she might definitely have diabetes or at the very least pre-diabetes. While she is there also have a complete blood panel taken to check for any other conditions. If she has irregular periods, has grown extra hair on her body, or experiences bad menstrual cramping mention that as well as the weight gain along with these other symptoms can be a sign of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which leads often to diabetes and infertility problems. Good Luck!

  35. Ana says:

    I’m 51, 5’1″ tall and 103lbs. I work out everyday with may be 1 or 2 rest day a week, none of my parents are diabetic, but my blood sugar level has been around 5,9 in the last 3 months. I don’t eat white rice, I don’t eat white bread, I drink smoothie contains with spinach or kale, wheat germ, Chia seeds, Goji berries, Oats, Spirulina powder, almond milk and some frozen berries. Can anyone tell me why ?

  36. ChiTown3 says:

    I am 38 and my AC1 IS 5.7…Am a pre diabetic?

  37. PJ Vela says:

    My doctor told me my A1c level was 5.8, and that I needed to lose 40 pounds. So I joined Medifast (with his permission) and have taken off 25 so far. My A1c went down to 5.3. I will lose the rest and then go on the maintenance program. Low carb, more exercise and a lower weight are the new norm! I’m liking the energy I have and having normal blood pressure!!
    Now my husband is having eye problems, and we made an appt for him to check his levels. It pays to get a yearly check up – even if you feel great!

  38. MDC says:

    I am 30 years old. I had a n A1C of 5.7 in March, while on Metformin. Also on thyroid meds. I have lost 22 lbs since. On June 5th I had labs done again and my thyroid is at optimal levels, but my A1C is now 5.9. I’m thinking it’s because I was eating a lot of fruits as part of my diet. My glucose levels are never over 100. But I am always dizzy with a spinning sensation. Especially immediately after I eat something and takes a few hours to subside. I sit in front of a computer at work and it’s so hard for me to concentrate with this heavy head. I’ve been vegan and gluten-free for the last 2 months, so my eating habits are very healthy. I walk a lot. I honestly thought I was on the right track to reverse my pre-diabetes, but now I’m not so sure. I do have PCOS and irregular periods. I’m also trying to get pregnant, which has proven to be a very difficult task thus far. But before anything, I want to be healthy again. I want this dizziness/vertigo/heavy head feeling to go away. I do think it could be related to hypoglycemia, but my doc has told me the frop in blood sugar usually happens 2-3 hours after you eat, not immediately as it happens with me. I’m so scared thinking I may have a stroke any moment. I had a brain/head MRI last year without contrast which came back normal and am trying to have another performed, this time with contrast. Any thoughts on what could be happening to me?

    • American Diabetes Association says:

      Hello MDC, please contact your health care team as soon as possible with these questions. Thank you.

  39. Nat says:

    Hello All, while pre-diabetes and diabetes can be very scary there are so many things you can do to help get those blood glucose levels in check. My first recommendation would be to search information in you area about seeing a diabetes educator and a nutritionist. They can help you sort things out so that your pre-diabetes does not cross over to diabetes. You can also purchase a non-name brand meter (which is less expensive) over the counter so that you can monitor your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor and find out where he wants your numbers to be. I am a diabetes educator who has lowered my A1c from 5.7 to 5.4 with diet modification. Best of luck!

  40. Jose Castillo says:

    Thank you all for sharing i just learned today that i to am prediabetic and afraid what will be if i don’t take care of myself. I must change my habits

  41. nosilla says:

    i’m pre-diabetic and have gone from 145 to 165 now im 220 an the doctor insists that my numbers 6.4 from what i was told if i climb to 6.5 now ill be a full diabetic. why cant i loose any weight

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