What is prediabetes?

Pre-diabetes is not nonsense, it is quite serious, but it can be reversed with some effort and several changes in our lifestyle. We will explain its causes, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis and how to prevent it.

When talking about diabetes, we always believe that it is far away and will never touch us, until one day you start to feel bad, you are very thirsty, hungry and anxious and decide to go to the doctor. Prediabetes is a real and very serious thing, in fact, according to one study, the majority of prediabetes end up being diabetic between 2 and 5 years after diagnosis.

Not everything is lost, we can detect it in time and remedy it, but it is best to go to the doctor to clear up doubts and find personalized advice after the relevant tests. To avoid fluctuations and sugar spikes, it is best to eat a very balanced diet and exercise regularly, but at the end of this text we will give some tips to prevent prediabetes and reverse it.

What is prediabetes?

This is the consequence of having a high fasting glucose level , but without being so high as to be identified as type 2 diabetes. of 5 years, will be diabetic type 2.

The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that the former cannot be prevented and is more common in children and young people, although it can also affect adults. Type 1 diabetes arises because the body does not produce insulin and is caused by a reaction of the immune system. While type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and the elderly, it is preventable and occurs when the body produces too little insulin.

By doing a fasting blood test, the level of glucose in the blood can be observed. If it is less than 100 mg/dl, it is a normal level. However, if it appears between 100 and 125 mg/dl, it is considered prediabetes. If it exceeds 126 mg/dl, it is already diabetes. To clear up doubts, our doctor will have to perform some tests.

Productos azucarados que provocan diabetes


The causes of type 1 diabetes are not fully known, but for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, they are. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that is what helps regulate blood sugar, in a way that helps the cells of our body use sugar for energy.

In the case of having prediabetes, the insulin response is not being correct , so the pancreas decides to create more insulin, and there comes a point where it stops making it and glucose levels go up and up more and more until develop type 2 diabetes.

As we have already said, we can reverse the situation, although it deserves a great effort and through an almost radical change of life, introducing a very healthy diet and doing moderate sports on a daily basis.


The symptoms of prediabetes are clear and we can diagnose ourselves “at home” by reading the following list of symptoms . Although it is best to go to a doctor if we have any slight suspicion or notice certain abnormalities. With a simple blood test we can see it clearly.

  • Being very thirsty.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Increased urination.
  • Anxious hunger.
  • Fatigue.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Lack of balance in some circumstances.

Together with the symptoms we have the risk factors , and it is that our physical or health condition makes us prone to prediabetes, apart from our lifestyle.

  • Being overweight.
  • Being over 40 years old.
  • Having a direct family member with type 2 diabetes.
  • To live a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Having suffered from gestational diabetes.
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • People with sleep apnea.
  • smoking.
  • Diet based on red meat and sugary drinks.
  • Waist size is also an indication of insulin resistance. Waists of more than 100 cm in men and more than 90 cm in women.

Prueba de azúcar


The diagnosis of prediabetes is made through a simple blood test, if the glucose level comes out less than 100 mg / dl it is a normal level. If it is between 100 and 125 mg/dl, then it is prediabetes.

Do not be scared if it comes out between 100 and 110 mg/dl, since it may be due to not having spent 12 hours fasting or other alterations such as drinking water before the analysis. If it appears higher than 126 mg/dl, then we are type 2 diabetics.

To identify sugar problems with a basic analysis, the doctor will not only look at glucose, but at the entire set of parameters. In case of suspicion, the doctor will require other glucose tests:

Glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) test

This test shows your average blood sugar level over the last 3 months . Not only this, but the percentage of glucose is measured together with the protein that transports oxygen, which is hemoglobin. There are 3 levels and the higher our blood sugar level, the higher the amount of hemoglobin with sugar.

  • A1C less than 5.7% is a normal level.
  • A1C up to 6.4% is prediabetes.
  • A1C greater than 6.5% could indicate type 2 diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test

A common test used to diagnose gestational diabetes , and diabetes without pregnancy. A blood sample is collected after an overnight fast and then a sugar solution is offered to the patient and after two hours of rest, blood is drawn again.

  • Level less than 140 mg/dl is normal.
  • Up to 199 mg/dl is prediabetes.
  • Above 200 mg/dl is type 2 diabetes.

Cambio de dieta en la prediabetes

Treatment and prevention

If we have prediabetes, the doctor will inform us of a series of changes that we have to make in our day to day life and a series of improvements in our life habits.

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Avoid ultra-processed products such as industrial pastries, sugary drinks, isotonic drinks, soft drinks, processed juices, etc.
  • Drastically reduce prepared and deep-frozen meals.
  • Avoid fried and greasy foods.
  • Lose weight in case of obesity.
  • No Smoking.
  • Not to drink alcohol.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Increase fiber.
  • Have a more active life and do some kind of sport several times a week. Aerobic activities preferred: swimming, cycling, brisk walking, tennis, dancing, skating, running at a moderate pace, etc.

If we radically change our lives, we will be avoiding diabetes in the long term . That’s why experts put so much emphasis on good lifestyle habits, as diabetes rates in those under 30 are skyrocketing.

Can it be reversed?

Of course you can, but it is not 100% certain , that is, trying to reverse the situation does not give us total certainty that we will never suffer from type 2 diabetes. To turn the tables, what needs to be done is to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates, empty sugars, increase the intake of vegetables, reduce meat, eat more fiber, drink much more water, eat a lot of fresh fruit, eliminate ultra-processed and deep-frozen foods, etc.

In short, you have to have good lifestyle habits, and of course do sports several times a week with a moderate intensity, since inactivity and a sedentary life increase the chances of suffering from diabetes.