Q & A: Prediabetes and Diabetes
Q. What is Prediabetes?
A. Prediabetes means a person's blood glucose (sugar) level is higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with diabetes.
Q. What is the A1c for prediabetes?
A. A person with an A1C of 5.7 to 6.4 percent is referred to as a person with prediabetes. An individual with no history of diabetes will typically have an A1C level below 5.7 percent.
Q. What is the blood sugar value for prediabetes?
A. Blood sugar of 100 to 125
Q. What are risk factors for Diabetes?
- Age 45 years old or greater
- Are overweight
- Are African American, Hispanic, Asian American or Pacific Islander, or American Indian
- Have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- Have high blood pressure
- Have low HDL (good cholesterol) and high levels of blood fats
- Had diabetes when pregnant, or gave birth to a large baby (over 9 pounds)
- Are physically active less than three times a week
Q. How do I know if I have diabetes?
A. You may have one or more of the warning signs listed on the next page, or you may have no signs at all.
Talk to your health care provider about getting a blood test to check your glucose levels to know
if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes (a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal,
but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes).
The signs of Type 2 diabetes are:
- Being very thirsty
- Urinating often (especially at night)
- Feeling very hungry or tired
- Losing weight without trying
- Having sores that heal slowly
- Having dry, itchy skin
- Losing the feeling in your feet or having tingling in your feet
- Having blurry eyesight
Q. What can I do to control or prevent diabetes?
A. Managing diabetes requires effort every day to eat healthy foods, be physically active, take diabetes medicine as prescribed and test blood glucose levels. You can take steps to prevent or slow down other health problems diabetes can cause over the years by keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control. If you have diabetes, work with your health care provider to create a plan for managing your health. You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting diabetes. Some tips are:
- Be physically active on a regular basis
- Eat less fat and fewer calories
- Lose weight if you need to
All people with diabetes need to make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, and be physically active every day. Taking good care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel better. It may help you avoid health problems caused by diabetes such as:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Eye problems that can lead to trouble seeing or going blind
- Nerve damage that can cause your hands and feet to feel numb. Some people may even lose a foot or a leg
- Kidney problems that can cause your kidneys to stop working
- Gum disease and loss of teeth