How Is Prediabetes Diagnosed?
To determine if you have prediabetes, your doctor can perform one of three different blood tests -- the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), or the hemoglobin A1C (or average blood sugar) test.
During the FPG blood test your blood sugar level is measured after an 8 hour fast. This laboratory health screening can determine if your body metabolizes glucose correctly. If your blood sugar level is abnormal after the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, you could have what's called "impaired fasting glucose," which suggests prediabetes.
Understanding the FPG Test Results
|Normal||Less than 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter)|
|Prediabetes||100 mg/dL - 125 mg/dL|
|Diabetes||126 mg/dL or greater on two or more tests|
Another laboratory health screening test your doctor can perform is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). During this test, your blood sugar is measured after a fast and then again 2 hours after drinking a beverage containing a large amount of glucose. Two hours after the glucose beverage, if your glucose is higher than normal, you have what's called "impaired glucose tolerance," which suggests prediabetes.
Understanding the OGTT Test Results
|Condition||OGTT at 2 hours|
|Normal||Less than 140 mg/dL|
|Prediabetes||140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL|
|Diabetes||Greater than 200 mg/dL|
Hemoglobin A1C Test
The hemoglobin A1C test is a simple blood test that reflects the average blood sugar for the past 2 to 3 months. It can be used to check if your diabetes is under control, but it can also be used to diagnose diabetes.
Normal: 5.6% or less
Prediabetes: 5.7 to 6.4%
Diabetes: 6.5 % or above
Why Is It Important to Recognize and Treat Prediabetes?
By identifying the signs of prediabetes before diabetes occurs, you can prevent type 2 diabetes altogether and lower your risk of complications associated with this condition, such as heart disease.
A research study called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) found that many people who made healthy changes in their diet and who increased their physical activity were able to prevent diabetes. And many were able to return their blood sugar levels back into the normal range. The DPP found that just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day coupled with a 4 to 7% weight loss produced almost a 60% reduction in diabetes.