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Prediabetes means that your blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal. Prediabetes increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. If you make healthy changes, you can delay or prevent diabetes. The chart below shows tests that help to diagnosis prediabetes.

About Glucose

Everyone has glucose in their blood. Glucose provides energy to every cell in your body. The hormone insulin helps the cells use glucose. For people with prediabetes, insulin levels may be lower, or the cells may be resistant to insulin. As a result, cells do not get the energy they need and blood glucose rises.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance means that the cells do not use insulin as normal. Glucose builds up in the blood. This extra glucose causes damage over time. Being overweight, having a family history of type 2 diabetes, and low activity levels likely cause insulin resistance. Some medicines and sleep problems can also cause it.

Ways to Lower Blood Glucose Levels

  • Be physically active every day. This makes your cells more sensitive to insulin. Start slowly. This can be just 3-5 minutes at first. Work up to 30 minutes or more each day. Try walking, biking, dancing, swimming, etc. Exercise is the best medicine!

  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks. Choose water, tea or coffee. Avoid fruit juice, fruit drinks, lemonade, sweetened teas, etc. Limit sweets or desserts to a very small serving once a day at most.

  • If overweight, work on weight loss. Losing weight makes it easier for your cells to use insulin. Expect slow, gradual weight loss. Even losing 5-10 pounds can help. You do not need to reach a “perfect” weight for better blood glucose levels.

  • Find ways to manage stress.

For more information, go to https://patient.uwhealth.org/ and search “prediabetes.”

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