Prediabetes, formerly known as borderline diabetes, is a condition characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. Although glucose is elevated, it is not yet high enough to be in the diabetic range. Prediabetes is diagnosed when patients have a fasting blood glucose between 100 and 125mg/dL. Readings of 126mg/dL or above are classified as diabetic. For most patients, prediabetes has no symptoms, and doctors estimate up to ninety percent of patients with this condition are unaware they have it. Therefore, healthcare providers routinely advise patients with certain risk factors for prediabetes to consider getting tested for this ailment. Currently, testing is recommended for individuals who are overweight and for those who have high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, or a history of gestational diabetes. Additionally, patients aged forty-five and above should consider testing, and doctors also advise individuals who have a parent or sibling with diabetes to receive testing. Both prediabetes and diabetes can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. If patients are diagnosed with prediabetes, losing weight and making other lifestyle modifications may cure this condition.
If left untreated, prediabetes can cause a number of complications. Some of the most common complications of untreated prediabetes are outlined below.
Progression To Type 2 Diabetes
Progression to type 2 diabetes is the most common complication of prediabetes. While prediabetes doesn’t normally produce symptoms, several symptoms may develop in patients who are progressing to type 2 diabetes. For example, patients may experience darkened skin on their knuckles, knees, neck, or elbows. If increased thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, or frequent urination (more than eight times per day) develop, this suggests patients have most likely progressed to the diabetic range. To slow down or eliminate the risk of progression to type 2 diabetes, patients should speak with their healthcare provider about weight loss, dietary changes, and exercise plans that may help. Some communities have special support groups dedicated to preventing diabetes in patients struggling with prediabetes.
Learn more about the complications linked to untreated prediabetes now.