Pre-diabetes is what used to be called borderline diabetes. It is indicated by a fasting blood sugar between 100-125 mg/dl or an A1c between 5.6-6.5%. As its name suggests, left unchecked, pre-diabetes develops into type 2 diabetes.
These higher than normal blood sugars are the result of insulin resistance, a medical term to describe the circumstances of the pancreas producing insulin to lower blood sugar, but the body resisting it. High blood sugar is the result.
Pre-diabetes is almost always caused by the usual suspects, such as:
- having family members with diabetes
- being overweight
- not getting enough exercise
Pre-diabetes can also be due to having gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).
This is the good part! Landmark research, including the Diabetes Prevention Program, has shown diabetes can be prevented, even in people at high risk.
Do these two things:
- Exercise at least 150 minutes a week. Most of the subjects in the DPP walked 30 minutes five days a week.
- Get to a comfortable body weight, and stay there. The subjects in the DPP lost an average of 7 percent of their weight. For example, a 200-pound person lost 14 pounds, and a 300-pound person lost 21 pounds. This is modest reduction in weight, but it reduced the insulin resistance contributing to the above normal blood sugars.
Insurance and Financial Questions
At this writing, pre-diabetes is not recognized by most health plans, so requesting coverage for a blood sugar monitor, medication or diabetes education will most likely be denied. However, you can use this as even more reason to get your exercise program in gear and lose any excess, unhealthy weight!