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What is Pre-diabetes?

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Pre-diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but lower than levels used to diagnose diabetes. Other phrases sometimes used to describe pre-diabetes include “borderline diabetes” or “blood sugar a little high.” People with pre-diabetes are said to have impaired glucose tolerance and/or impaired fasting glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association defines impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose as:

Impaired Glucose Tolerance

Impaired Glucose Tolerance is a 2-hour value of an oral glucose tolerance test that is greater than or equal to 140 mg/dl but less than 200 mg/dl.

Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Diagnostic categories of oral glucose tolerance tests.

Impaired Fasting Glucose

Impaired Fasting Glucose is a fasting blood glucose level of greater than or equal to 100mg/dl but less than 126 mg/dl.

Impaired Fasting Glucose
Diagnostic categories of impaired fasting blood glucose tests.

Pre-diabetes puts people at high risk for developing diabetes, but also gives them a head start on preventing this disease. People told that they have pre-diabetes can often bring their blood glucose levels back down to normal by balancing a healthy diet with physical activity and weight loss.

Back to: General Overview of Diabetes and Food

This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.