Prediabetes is a term used when blood sugar levels are slightly higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. A person with increased blood sugar levels is said to have Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) or Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT).


Diagnostic tests

Fasting Blood Sugar Level * (mmol/L)

Blood Sugar Level 2 hours after OGTT** (mmol/L)

IFG

6.1 - 6.9

N/A

IFG (isolated)

6.1 - 6.9

and

less than 7.8

IGT

Higher than 6.1

and

7.8 11.0

IFG and IGT

6.1 - 6.9

and

7.8 - 11.0

Diabetes

greater than or equal to 7.0

or

greater than or equal to 11.1

*Fasting blood sugar = blood sugar level after not eating for at least 8 hours
** OGTT = Oral glucose tolerance test. A laboratory test where you drink 75 grams of a sugary orange beverage

People with IFG or IGT are at higher risk of developing diabetes. Not everyone will develop diabetes but unfortunately many will, especially those who also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and those who are overweight. The good news is that persons with IFG and IGT can bring their blood sugar levels back to a normal range with lifestyle modifications including healthy meal planning and exercise.

People can have pediabetes without knowing it, so it is important to be aware if you are at risk and how to be tested. If you have any of the following risk factors, you should ask your doctor to screen you for diabetes. The risk factors include:

  • Having a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • Having heart disease
  • Had gestational diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Are overweight and carry a lot of this extra weight around your belly
  • Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, or African descent

Remember, diabetes can be prevented! With proper meal planning and exercise you can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes and its complication