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.
Each issue, WebMD the Magazine's "Health Highlights" focuses on a national health theme for the month with expert tips, reader comments, and eye-catching factoids. November is Diabetes Awareness month. Follow these tips to stay at your peak!
1. Say "Om"
Learn to meditate to help reduce stress and improve your blood sugar levels.
2. Step Out
Exercise helps keep your weight and blood sugar under control, and just about everyone can do a brisk daily walk.
3. Eat Right
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:
Feeling very thirsty.
Urinating more often than usual.
Feeling very hungry.
Having blurred vision.
How is prediabetes diagnosed?
A blood test can
tell if you have prediabetes. You have prediabetes if:
The results of your hemoglobin A1c test are 5.7% to 6.4%.