Pre-Diabetes? Could You Have It?
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad St?ppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
About 41 million Americans between the ages of 40 and 74 have "pre-diabetes." Prediabetes is a condition that, as the name implies, can be considered an early, potentially reversible, stage in the development of Type II diabetes. Pre-diabetes is sometimes called impaired glucose toleranceor Impaired Fasting Glucose (IGT/IFG). In pre-diabetes, a person's blood sugar(glucose) levels are slightly higher than the normal range, but not high enough for a true diagnosis of diabetes. People with pre-diabetes have a significant risk of developing full-blown diabetes; in the Diabetes Prevention Program study, about 11% of people with pre-diabetes developed Type II diabetes each year during the three-year follow-up time of the study.
Doctors generally use one of two different blood tests to diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes. One is called the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), in which a person's blood glucoselevel is measured first thing in the morning before breakfast. The normal fasting blood glucoselevel is below 100 mg/dl. A person with pre-diabetes has a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl. If the blood glucose level rises to 126 mg/dl or above, a person is considered to have diabetes.