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Prediabetes is the first step to developing type 2 diabetes. It's a warning sign and an opportunity for you to prevent a more serious illness.
With lifestyle changes and support, you can prevent prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes.
Have been told you have or at risk for prediabetes? Learn how you can avoid developing diabetes with our FREE Diabetes Prevention Program.
Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes
Insulin is made by your pancreas to help your cells absorb glucose, or sugar, from the bloodstream to fuel your body. Insulin resistance means your muscle, fat and liver cells can't properly use insulin to absorb glucose. This causes your pancreas to make more insulin to ensure your cells absorb enough glucose. If it can't make enough insulin to keep up with glucose levels, you may develop prediabetes.
Prediabetes: A Warning Sign for Type 2 Diabetes
Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are high, but not yet high enough to classify as type 2 diabetes. Instead, a prediabetes diagnosis warns that you are on your way to developing type 2 diabetes. High levels of blood sugar can lead to diabetes, which can cause complications that include heart disease, reduced vision, nerve damage and stroke.
Although prediabetes usually has no symptoms, darkened skin in the armpit, on your back or the sides of your neck, and small skin growths in these areas can indicate prediabetes.
Prediabetes Risk Factors
According to the CDC, prediabetes affects about 41 percent of men and 32 percent of women ages 18 or older. Specific risk factors include:
- Age 45 or older
- Ancestries such as African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander American
- Family history of type 2 diabetes – parent, sister or brother
- Gestational diabetes
- History of heart disease or stroke
- Little or no physical activity or exercise
- Polycystic ovary syndrome, a common cause of female infertility
An A1C Test can Diagnose Prediabetes
The A1C test is one of the most common tools used to diagnose prediabetes. The test measures your average blood sugar levels, and you can take it at your doctor's office. After taking our blood sample, your doctor will send it to a lab and tell you the results.
Prediabetes: A Chance to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
If you know you have prediabetes, you have an opportunity to prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes. Making permanent lifestyle changes like losing weight and eating a healthier diet will get you on your way. But you don't have to do it alone.
Participate in the UM Midtown Diabetes Prevention Program. This free, CDC-approved program provides information and coaching to help you make lifestyle changes to reverse prediabetes or prevent it from becoming type 2 diabetes.
This program is only for people who have not been diagnosed with diabetes. However, if you already have diabetes, you can participate in our Diabetes Self-Management Training program.