Cecilia Capes, MD, a family physician with Franciscan Physician Network South 31 Family Care in Indianapolis, answers your questions and shares expert insight to help you make informed decisions about prediabetes and diabetes.
Q: A friend of mine was told she has prediabetes. How is that different from regular diabetes?
A: Your friend was probably told her blood sugar level is higher than normal but not at a level that would indicate type 2 diabetes. While people diagnosed with diabetes usually report having symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination and fatigue, a person with prediabetes may not have any such symptoms. Still, it may be possible that some long-term damage may be happening.
Like diabetes, prediabetes can affect the heart, blood vessels and kidneys. This is due to the body's inability to process insulin properly.
In many cases, adapting healthy lifestyle changes can reduce the chances of prediabetes progressing to type 2 diabetes. This means eating a healthy diet, increasing your activity and losing those extra pounds to reach a healthy weight. These changes can not only reduce your blood sugar level but also help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Take a quiz or download our free diabetes guide to find out if you have some of the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.