The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends diabetes screenings for most adults age 45 and older. The ADA advises you to have diabetes screenings before age 45 if you are overweight and have additional risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
There are several blood tests for prediabetes.
Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test
This test shows the average blood glucose level for the past three months. The test measures the percentage of blood glucose bound to the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells called hemoglobin. The higher your blood glucose levels, the greater the amount of hemoglobin with sugar.
An A1C level below 5.7% is considered normal
An A1C level between 5.7% and 6.4% is considered prediabetes
An A1C level of 6.5% or higher on two separate tests indicates type 2 diabetes
Certain conditions can make the A1C test inaccurate, such as if you are pregnant or have a rare type of hemoglobin.
Fasting blood sugar test
A blood sample is taken after a fast of at least eight hours or overnight.
A fasting blood glucose level below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg / dl) (5.6 millimoles per liter [mmol / l]) is considered normal.
A fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg / dl (5.6 to 7 mmol / l) is considered prediabetes. This result is sometimes called impaired fasting glucose.
A fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg / dl (7 mmol / l) or higher indicates type 2 diabetes.
Oral glucose tolerance test
This test is often used to diagnose diabetes only during pregnancy. A blood sample is taken after a fast of at least eight hours or overnight. You will then take a sugary solution and your blood glucose level will be measured again after two hours.
A blood glucose level below 140 mg / dl (7.8 mmol / l) is considered normal.
A blood glucose level of between 140 and 199 mg / dl (7.8 to 11 mmol / l) is considered prediabetes. This is often known as impaired glucose tolerance.
A blood glucose level of 200 mg / dl (11.1 mmol / l) or higher indicates type 2 diabetes.
If you have prediabetes, your doctor will usually check your blood glucose levels at least once a year.
Children and prediabetes analysis
Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in children and adolescents, probably due to the increase in childhood obesity. The ADA recommends prediabetes testing for overweight or obese children who have one or more risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
These other risk factors include the following:
Family history of type 2 diabetes.
Race. African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander children are at higher risk.
Low birth weight.
Mother who had gestational diabetes.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle can help bring your blood glucose level back to normal, or at least keep it from rising to the levels seen in type 2 diabetes.
To prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes, try the following
Eating healthy food. Choose foods that are low in fat and calories and high in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat a variety of foods that help you achieve your goals without compromising taste or nutrition.
Be more active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of aerobic activity on most days of the week.
Lose excess weight. If you are overweight, losing only 5% to 7% of your body weight - about 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms) if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kilograms) - can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes in your eating and exercise habits.
Give up smoking. Smoking can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Take medications as necessary. If you are at high risk for diabetes, your doctor may recommend metformin (Glumetza, others). Medications to control cholesterol and high blood pressure may also be prescribed.
Children and treatment for prediabetes
Children with prediabetes should make the recommended lifestyle changes for adults with type 2 diabetes, including:
Lose weight
Eating less fat and refined carbohydrates, and more fiber
Reduce portion sizes
Eating less frequently
Spend at least an hour a day doing physical activity