What Is Considered Pre-Diabetic?

The American Diabetes Association defines pre-diabetes as "blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes." Pre-diabetes can turn into diabetes in fewer than 10 years if left uncontrolled.

  1. Diagnosing Pre-diabetes

    • Pre-diabetes is diagnosed using either the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) or the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

    Fasting plasma Glucose Test (FPG)

    • For the FPG test, a patient must fast for at least eight hours before having blood drawn. Blood sugar levels between 100 and 125 are considered pre-diabetic. Levels 126 or higher are considered diabetic.

    Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

    • After an eight-hour fast, blood is drawn for an OGTT test. A glucose solution is then drunk and the blood draw is repeated two hours later. Levels less than 140 are normal, levels between 140 and 199 are pre-diabetic, and levels of 200 or higher are considered diabetic.

    Risks for Developing Pre-diabetes

    • Some risk factors for developing pre-diabetes include: being overweight, being sedentary, being over 45, and a family history of type 2 diabetes.


    • The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states that the best treatment for pre-diabetes is losing 5 to 7 percent of body weight, eating healthy, and exercising 30 minutes a day.

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