What Makes Pre-Diabetes Different from Type 2 Diabetes?
The term pre-diabetes was introduced by the American Diabetes Association in 2002 as a way to more clearly convey a state that is between normal blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. In the past your doctor may have diagnosed you with “borderline diabetes.” Other statements that have been used (euphemistically) are “your blood sugar is a little high” or “you have a touch of sugar.” These words provide little meaning to the person hearing them and they certainly do not express the urgent need to do something about the situation. Pre-diabetes is defined by tangible parameters, namely the results of blood glucose tests:
Normal is defined as: fasting blood glucose is less than 100mg/dl and a glucose level less than 140mg/dl two hours after eating.
Pre-diabetes is defined as: fasting blood glucose between 100–125mg/dl and a glucose level between 140–190mg/dl two hours after eating.
Diabetes is defined as: fasting blood glucose of 126mg/dl or higher or a blood glucose greater than 200mg/dl two hours after eating.
To confirm a diagnosis of either pre-diabetes or diabetes, the blood glucose levels must be elevated and within defined lab results at least two times. If your lab results indicated high glucose readings during an initial test, your doctor should repeat the test a second time to see whether the results are the same.
When you have pre-diabetes, your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but it's not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes means that you are on your way to developing diabetes if there are no interventions on your part. One very important fact to understand is that progressing to type 2 diabetes is not inevitable. There is a great deal that you can do to reverse pre-diabetes and bring your blood sugar level back to a normal range. A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is permanent. While there is much that can be done to control diabetes, it is important to realize that type 2 diabetes does not go away. In spite of everything you have read so far, if you have received a diagnosis of pre-diabetes there is some good news. You have received a wake-up call and been given an opportunity to improve your health, lose weight, and make healthy lifestyle changes. If you take action you can prevent, or at the very least, halt the progression to a serious, permanent disease.