Prediabetes: What do I need to know?

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr. Abdul Khalique, MD Written by - Dr. Diksha Sangle


What is Prediabetes?

In prediabetes, blood sugar levels are raised, type 2 diabetes is not yet considered to be present. A person is thought to be at risk of getting diabetes in the future if they exhibit this symptom.

The complex nature of prediabetes is examined in this article, along with its definition, causes, symptoms, and possible effects. In addition, we stress the significance of identifying prediabetes as a window of opportunity for intervention and provide advice on appropriate management techniques.

In prediabetes, blood sugar levels are raised, type 2 diabetes is not yet considered to be present. A person is thought to be at risk of getting diabetes in the future if they exhibit this symptom.


Symptoms of Prediabetes

Some common symptoms are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination, especially during the night.
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision, difficulty focusing

It is usually called a “silent” disease because it frequently has no apparent symptoms. Many people don’t realize they have high blood sugar levels until they get tested for it or start experiencing signs that indicate more severe stages. Mild symptoms, however, can occasionally be experienced by people and act as warning indicators.1Symptoms| Researched based study from


Who are at risk?

Certain risk factors increase the possibility of having prediabetes. Many of these factors can be handled or modified by changes in lifestyle, even though some are out of a person’s control. Here are a few examples:

  • Excess weight or obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Age
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)


  • One of the biggest risk factors is being overweight or obese. Extra weight, especially in the abdomen, might worsen insulin sensitivity and disrupt the regular regulation of blood sugar.

Sedentary kind of life

  • Regular physical inactivity is a factor. Inactivity lowers the body’s capacity to utilise insulin and control blood sugar levels.

Unhealthy dietary choices

  • A diet that is high in processed foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and saturated fats and low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains increases the risk.

Family background

  • When a parent or sibling develops the condition, type 2 diabetes is more likely to run in families.


  • As people age, particularly after 45, it becomes increasingly prevalent. This is brought on by several elements, such as decreased physical activity, weight increase, and possibly aging-related changes.

Gestational diabetes

  • Pregnant women who have had the condition in the past are more susceptible. This highlights the significance of continued monitoring and post-pregnancy screening.

Ovarian polycystic syndrome (PCOS)

  • Women with PCOS, a hormonal condition marked by irregular periods and high androgen levels, are more likely to be at risk.1Risk| Researched based study from


Causes of Prediabetes

Insulin sensitivity

  • The pancreas secretes the hormone insulin, which controls blood glucose levels. Elevated blood sugar levels result from the body’s cells losing their receptivity to the action of insulin.

Metabolic abnormalities

Different metabolic abnormalities are linked to metabolic disturbances, which help to impede glucose metabolism. These consist of the following:

Impaired beta cell function

  • Producing and releasing insulin is done by beta cells. They might not operate at their best, resulting in insufficient insulin secretion.

Abnormal synthesis of glucose

  • By manufacturing and releasing insulin, the liver regulates blood glucose levels, but the liver may create too much glucose in prediabetes.


  • It is frequently linked to abnormal blood lipid levels, such as excessive triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Levels. This may worsen the effects of insulin sensitivity.1Causes| Researched based study from


How is Prediabetes diagnosed?

The diagnosis of prediabetes typically involves the following steps:

Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test

  • This test analyses your blood glucose level after at least eight hours of an overnight fast. A score between 100 and 125 mg/dl (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is indicative of prediabetes.

OGTT, or oral glucose tolerance test

  • You must consume a sweet liquid for this test, and your blood glucose level will be checked before and two hours after ingestion. The range to recognize the condition is 140-199 mg/Dl (7.8-11.0 mmol/L).

HbA1C test

  • Blood glucose levels over the previous two to three months are evaluated using the HbA1C test.
  • A score of 5.7% to 6.4% or above denotes prediabetes.2Diagnosis| Researched based study from ,3Diagnosis| Researched based study from


What is the Treatment?

The mainstay of prediabetes treatment is a change in lifestyle that can block or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Enhancing insulin sensitivity and preserving appropriate blood glucose levels are the objectives. Here are several crucial lifestyle adjustments and tactics:

Pre-diabetes diet

  • Adopt a nutritious, whole-foods-based diet that is balanced and focuses on lean meats, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Limit your use of processed foods, sugary foods, and calorie-dense beverages.

Regular exercise

  • Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity when engaging in regular physical activity. Strength-training exercises should also be performed at least twice per week.

Weight control

  • If you are overweight or obese, even a modest weight loss of 5 to 7 percent of your body weight can significantly lower your risk.

Monitoring blood glucose levels

  • Follow your doctor’s advice and check your blood sugar levels frequently. Using this, you may monitor your development and make any necessary adjustments.

Stress management

  • Blood sugar levels may be impacted by ongoing stress. Spending time in nature, doing yoga, or engaging in stress-relieving hobbies can be helpful.

Medicines (if prescribed)

  • A medical professional may occasionally recommend medication to aid in controlling blood glucose levels.

Regular checkups

  • Maintain routine visits with your doctor to keep an eye on your development.2Treatment| Researched based study from ,3Treatment| Researched based study from


Preventing Prediabetes

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay away from processed and sugary foods and drinks.
  • Alcohol consumption in excess might result in weight gain. Limit your daily alcohol intake to one drink for women and two for men.
  • Give up smoking because it can raise the risk.
  • Learn about the risk factors for and methods for preventing prediabetes. By being aware of this, you can make wise choices and take the appropriate precautions to lower your risk.4Prevention| Researched based study from


Complications of Prediabetes.

Complications of Prediabetes

Type 2 diabetes development

  • It raises your risk of becoming type 2 diabetes, which can harm several organs in your body.

Heart problems

  • Other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, increase the likelihood of having heart disease and stroke.

Kidney disease

  • They might suffer long-term renal damage from persistently high blood sugar levels. It raises the possibility of developing diabetic nephropathy, which is marked by diminished kidney function and may progress to chronic kidney disease.

Nerve damage (Neuropathy)

  • High blood sugar levels that persist can harm the nerves, resulting in neuropathy. Pain, tingling, or numbness may be experienced in the hands and feet.

Eye problems

  • It increases the risk of cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.
  • These may impact eyesight and, if unchecked, could result in permanent vision loss.

Increased risk of infection

  • Infections, particularly those affecting the skin, gums, urinary tract, and respiratory system, can be more likely to spread when blood sugar levels are high because they can erode the immune system.

Sleep apnea

  • People have a higher incidence of sleep apnea. It is a condition where breathing alternately stops and starts while you sleep, disrupting your sleep cycle and raising your risk of heart disease.5Complications| Researched based study from
Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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