Prediabetes and How to Prevent the Progression to Diabetes

Prediabetes is becoming more common in the United States, according to estimates provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Prediabetes affects 79 million people age 20 or older in the U.S., according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Many individuals with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

Prediabetes is also called impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), depending on the test used to diagnose it. Some individuals have both IFG and IGT. In IFG, glucose levels are a little high when it has been several hours after eating. In IGT, glucose levels are a little higher than normal right after eating.

Prediabetes is characterized by an increased level of glucose in the bloodwhich is also a possible sign of metabolic syndrome. When you have prediabetes, your risk of developing diabetes increases. Your chance of developing heart disease and stroke goes up, too. The good news is that you can help control and possibly reverse prediabetes by making some basic lifestyle changes.

When it's prediabetes

Insulin is a hormone that helps cells turn glucose into energy. When the body's cells don't use insulin properly, you have insulin resistance. It can cause glucose to build up in the blood.

Glucose levels are measured using a fasting glucose test or a glucose tolerance test. According to the American Diabetes Association, you have prediabetes if your fasting glucose result ranges from 100 to 125 mg/dL, or your glucose tolerance result ranges from 140 to 199 mg/dL, or your A1C level is 5.7 to 6.4 percent.

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Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.

Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.

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