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What is the relationship between prediabetes and type 2 diabetes?

David T. Rothwell, MD
Family Medicine
Prediabetes represents that 5-10 year period of time prior to development of overt diabetes mellitus in adults.  This represents a very long period of time that one has insulin resistance issues prior to consistent hyperglycemia associated with diabetes mellitus. 

Most patients with "prediabetes" actually have something we now know as metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of clinical findings that usually included impaired fasting glucose (100+).  It also includes high triglycerides, enlarged waist circumference, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and/or high blood pressure.  If one has to control any of these with medication they are still considered positive findings.

Lifestyle intervention is absolutely the most important thing to do for anyone diagnosed with any prediabetic state (including metabolic syndrome).  Weight loss will help with waist circumference.  Exercise elevates HDL and lowers insulin resistance thus improving fasting glucose results.  Diet will help with all of these including getting those triglycerides down.

Have your physician check for these perameters today.  Get a fasting blood glucose.  If it's 100 or more you are technically in a prediabetic state.  Don't panic.  Get to work on making those lifestyle changes necessary and you'll see positive results in just a few months!
People with prediabetes are at much higher risk to develop overt diabetes. The good news is that prediabetes is entirely reversible if a person loses weight, exercises, and changes their diet.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.