Prediabetes is a term that is used when you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. It means that your blood sugar is
higher than it should be. Most people who get type 2 diabetes have prediabetes
first. The good news is that lifestyle changes may help you get your blood
sugar back to normal and avoid or delay diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
is a lifelong disease that happens when the
pancreas can't make enough
insulin and/or the body's tissues can't use
insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body's cells use sugar
(glucose) for energy. It also helps the body store extra sugar in muscle, fat,
and liver cells.
For most people, a bad shoe day means a blistered heel or painful arch that goes away quickly. But for people with diabetes, poor footwear can trigger serious problems, such as foot ulcers, infections, and even amputation.
Foot problems aren't inevitable, though. Ralph Guanci learned the hard way to pick his shoes with care and to stick with wearing them because they're good medicine for his feet.
Guanci, 57, a businessman in Carlisle, Massachusetts, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 25 years...
Without insulin, the sugar can't get into the
cells to do its work. It stays in the blood instead. This can cause high blood
sugar levels. A person has diabetes when the blood sugar stays too high too
much of the time.
Over time, high blood sugar can cause serious
problems with the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. High blood
sugar also makes a person more likely to get serious illnesses or infections.
What causes prediabetes?
Doctors don't know
exactly what causes prediabetes. People who are
overweight, aren't physically active, and have a family
history of diabetes are more likely to get prediabetes.
Women who have had
gestational diabetes are also more likely to get
What are the symptoms?
Most people with
prediabetes don't have any symptoms. But if you have prediabetes, you need to
watch for signs of diabetes, such as:
Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Thank you for signing up for the WebMD Diabetes Newsletter!
You'll find tips and tricks as well as the latest news and research on Diabetes.
Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.