What Is It and Why Should I Care?

Answers to some common questions about prediabetes

Diabete Just Ahead

More than 84 million people in the United States have prediabetes – that’s 1 in 3 adults. And 90% of those don’t even know it.(1)

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with prediabetes? If so, you’re not alone.

And if you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, you likely have a million questions. I know I did!

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could answer questions about prediabetes and clear-up  feelings of confusion and frustration?

That’s exactly what I hope to do in this 3-part series on prediabetes!

In this first article of the series we’ll explore:

  • What is prediabetes?
  • How is prediabetes diagnosed?
  • Who is at risk of prediabetes?
  • What are symptoms of prediabetes?
  • Do I really need to be concerned?
  • What can I do about it?

So let’s get started with the basics.

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Those who are prediabetic have a window of opportunity to reverse the condition. You actually have a lot of power in preventing this disease. I like to think of prediabetes as a wake-up call or a second chance to act before serious damage has been done. This is an opportunity where even moderate lifestyle changes can have a huge positive impact on your health. But don’t be misled by the prefix “pre”. In a recent article in Endocrine Today, Leigh Perreault, MD, (2) Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, stated that “Prediabetes is diabetes. The time is now to take action. You can prevent diabetes, you can prevent complications of diabetes.”

How is prediabetes diagnosed?

Prediabetes is diagnosed based on the results of one or more common blood tests—A1C or Fasting Blood Glucose—prescribed by your doctor. As you can see from the image below as your test results increase you move from Normal to Prediabetes to type 2 Diabetes.

Blood Test Levels

When you are diagnosed with prediabetes, your doctor may closely monitor your blood sugar levels to track the progression of your condition. You may be placed on a diet and encouraged to increase your physical activity levels as a way to keep your numbers stable.

Depending on your situation, your doctor may also suggest a drug treatment such as Metformin to help lower your blood sugar.

Let's Go Deeper

Who’s at risk for prediabetes?

Those who are most at risk for prediabetes include those who are:

  • 45 years of age or older
  • Overweight
  • physically inactive
  • had diabetes while pregnant
  • gave birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds
  • have a family history of diabetes. (CDC-1)

You can take a quick test to see if you are at risk here.

You’ll notice that being overweight is one of the risk factors listed above. This is a very serious issues as nearly all those who are overweight or obese—roughly 70% of American adults—already have prediabetes.

What are the symptoms of prediabetes?

There usually aren’t obvious symptoms when you have prediabetes.

This, in part, is why so many millions of people have prediabetes but don’t know it!

That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor to know for sure. A simple blood test can confirm if you have prediabetes.

Do I really need to be concerned?


Remember, as stated earlier, prediabetes is diabetes.

If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, you’ve been given a unique second chance that most diseases don’t offer.

Without making changes, many people with prediabetes can develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. If you don’t make lifestyle changes, it puts you at greater risk.

Studies have shown that simple lifestyle changes can reverse prediabetes or delay the slide into full diabetes (3).

What’s this mean to you?

It’s time to Take Action

If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, heed the wake-up call and take advantage of the second chance you have been given.

There’s more to this than you realized?

After reading this article, you might feel like prediabetes is more complex than you thought. We get it. In the age of 24/7 health news and fitness-celeb podcasts, it’s tough to get the real story.

If you’d like to learn more about how making lifestyle changes can help to reverse prediabetes, consider the PreventT2, Diabetes Prevention Program. This CDC-recognized lifestyle change program is proven to work. It is based on research led by the National Institutes of Health.

What’s the PreventT2 program all about?

PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is proven to help people with prediabetes prevent or delay development of type 2 diabetes.

The PreventT2 is the world’s most respected diabetes prevention program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools to understand how lifestyle change influences a person’s health and fitness and helps to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

This research showed that people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people over 60 years old). This finding resulted from the program helping people lose 5% to 7% of their body weight—as little as 10-14 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds—through healthier eating and 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

And the impact of this program can last for years to come. Research has found that even after 10 years, people who completed a diabetes prevention lifestyle change program were one third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Wrap Up

Yes, being diagnosed with Prediabetes can be scary and even frustrating to deal with.  But with a little knowledge and an action plan it doesn't have to be.  Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help to put you back in control of the diagnosis and your health. I designed the articles in this series educate you and to help you identify the changes you need to make to reverse Prediabetes and delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

Over to You

I hope this post inspires you to take action and make some changes in your life to prevent type 2 diabetes. I'd love to know what you think of the information presented here, let me know by leaving a comment below!

You can also join our private Facebook Group here.

still have questions?

A diagnosis of Prediabetes can be scary and confusing.

But it doesn't have to be!

Get the answers you seek to the most frequently asked questions about Prediabetes . . .

The 6 Questions You Should Ask When Diagnosed With Prediabetes

This report will help you:

  • Uncover what prediabetes really is and what it means for you.
  • Learn what all those confusing blood sugar numbers mean.
  • Discover the steps to take to keep prediabetes from progressing to full type 2 diabetes

and much more.

Gary Barclay-Author

About the Author - Gary Barclay

Gary is co-founder of Blue Coral Coaching Solutions. He is a Health Psychologist, Lifestyle Change Coach, and Diabetes Prevention Educator. As a master health and transformational lifestyle expert, world traveler, and public educator, Gary uses his unique combination of training and skills to work with individuals and groups to take their lives to the next level of optimal health and healing, while living the life of their dreams.