This sneaky health condition has no symptoms. But it’s almost always present before you get type 2 diabetes. It means your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not yet high enough for you to be diagnosed with the disease.
About 86 million people in the U.S. over age 20 have prediabetes. And doctors see the need to diagnose it more often. Treating it can prevent more serious health problems later on. These range from type 2 diabetes to problems with your heart, blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys.
By the time you’re diagnosed with diabetes, many of these problems have already taken hold.
The fasting plasma glucose test measures your blood sugar after an 8-hour fast. If your blood sugar level is higher than normal after the test, you may have prediabetes.
The oral glucose tolerance test records your blood sugar after a fast and then again 2 hours after you have a very sweet drink. If your blood sugar is higher than normal 2 hours after the test, you may have prediabetes.
The hemoglobin A1c test looks at your average blood sugar for the past 2 to 3 months. It can be used to see if your diabetes is under control or to diagnose the disease.