Am I Pre-Diabetic?

Before people develop diabetes (a metabolic syndrome) they often go through a stage of prediabetes which the American Diabetes Association describes as:

A condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing Type-2 Diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. Other names for prediabetes are impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose.

There are no specific symptoms of prediabetes, therefore millions of people will go undiagnosed every year. An estimated 33.9% of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (84.1 million people) had prediabetes in 2015, based on their fasting glucose or A1C level. Nearly half (48.3%) of adults aged 65 years or older had prediabetes. Among adults with prediabetes, 11.6% reported being told by a health professional that they had this condition.

Warning signs of prediabetes

  • Increased/ Abnormal Thirst
  • Increased Hunger
  • Rapid Weight Loss or Gain
  • Numbness in the Hands and Feet
  • Frequent Urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry Vision

What can push me over the edge to having metabolic syndrome?

There are several criteria that can cause someone with prediabetic symptoms to worsen their condition into Type-2 Diabetes. People over the age of 45 regardless of their health are encouraged to get blood glucose testing every other year. It is strongly recommended that you speak with your doctor and get tested for diabetes at any age if you are overweight, and have one or more of the following conditions:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Family History of Diabetes or Metabolic Syndrome
  • Regular Physical Inactivity
  • History of Vascular Disease
  • Over 40 years old
  • High Blood Glucose (Hyperglycemia)
  • Have Never Been Tested for Diabetes
  • Regular Smoker or Tobacco User (Including Vaping)


What is tested to determine prediabetes or diabetes?

Your doctor (including your podiatrist) can request a series of tests to determine the state of your blood glucose levels and metabolic health. These preliminary tests may include an A1C test, a Fasting Plasma Glucose test (FBG), and an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT).

A1C measures the average blood glucose levels for the past 90 days or so. Having your blood glucose levels below 5.7% is considered normal and healthy, anything above that may be consider prediabetic or diabetic.

Fasting Plasma Glucose Tests (FPG) measure the blood glucose levels after the body has not consumed anything (except water) for 8 hours prior to testing. Normal and healthy numbers should remain at or below 100 mg/dl, anything above that may be considered prediabetic or diabetic.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Tests (OGTT) test blood glucose levels two hours before and after a specific liquid test drink is consumed. The results are measured as two-hour blood glucose levels and should remain less than 140 mg/dl, anything above that may be consider prediabetic or diabetic.


Why prediabetes is so important to diagnose and manage?

Type-2 Diabetes and other specific cases of metabolic syndrome have the potential to be reversed if diagnosed early enough. Reducing the risk of diabetes can change your life by lowering the risk of diabetes can help to reduce the risk of neuropathy, cardiovascular issues, heart disease, skin and nail issues, healing complications, infection, weight gain, vision impairments, joint disease/ailments, kidney damage, hearing impairment, depression, and dementia / alzheimers.

You should feel you best, every day. Preventing diabetes is a crucial step to take if you are a confirmed prediabetic. We encourage all of our patients to get checked regardless of how healthy they feel. Many people come to the foot doctor to have one thing examined and may discover other health conditions related and unrelated to their foot and leg problems.