It is common knowledge that diabetes is not good; that to have diabetes is not easy; and that diabetes is something that can cause death when left unattended. For these very reasons medical and health experts are telling people, especially those who are predisposed to diabetes, to be extra careful. In the context of diabetes, as in everything else, prevention is better than cure. This is because there is no cure for diabetes. This means that once you have it, it’s never going away. The next best thing to do is to manage it (diabetes) so that it does not worsen and cause other serious health complications, or worse, death.
What Is Prediabetes?
As the word suggests, it means you’re almost there; you’re almost diabetic. In simple terms it means you only need a little more and then you will be diabetic.
When one is prediabetic, his or her glucose level is higher than normal. The level however, is a little lower than the glucose level of someone who is already a diabetic. In the past, medical and health experts refer to people with this condition as borderline diabetics.
How Is Prediabetes Diagnosed?
Before going to the details of how prediabetes is diagnosed, people should remember this: if someone in your family has diabetes, then you are most likely a candidate to have diabetes too!
A doctor can perform three tests to see whether you have diabetes. The three tests or processes are as follows: 1) Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG); 2) Oral Glucose Tolerance Test; and 3) Hemoglobin A1C or Average Blood Sugar Test.
The Three (3) Tests
The first test to check diabetes is called Fasting Plasma Glucose or FPG. The fasting plasma glucose test is the easiest and most inexpensive test that can be done to determine if you have diabetes. The doctor will require that you observe and overnight fast or an eight-hour fast. After the prescribed length of time to fast, a blood test is done which measures glucose levels. The test results will then show if the blood glucose level is normal, prediabetes, or diabetes.
The second test is called Oral Glucose Tolerance Test or OGTT. The doctors will, however, require someone who wants to be tested with OGTT to have the fasting glucose test first. Then, the person will be given a dose of high-sugar or glucose solution designed to clear the glucose from the blood. A second blood glucose test is performed after 2 hours. The result of the final test results will then show whether the person has normal level of blood glucose, has prediabetes, or has diabetes.
The third test is called Hemoglobin A1C test. This is a simple test that uses drawn blood. The test result shows the average blood sugar of the person for the past 3 or 4 months.
To know if you have diabetes, or if you are a prediabetic, it is best to see a doctor and have yourself checked. Again, prevention is still best, most especially because diabetes has no cure!