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Ask a Doc: I have been told that I’m pre-diabetic. What does that mean?

Our answer comes from Dr. Frank Croke.AAD Croke 

Question:  I have been told that I’m pre-diabetic. What does that mean?

Answer:  People with pre-diabetes have glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough yet to indicate diabetes. The condition used to be called borderline diabetes and most people with pre-diabetes don't have symptoms. The diagnosis is typically made with fasting blood tests. If you have pre-diabetes, you're at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as having a 50 percent higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke than someone without pre-diabetes.

I would strongly suggest some lifestyle changes that can help to delay, or even prevent, the onset of diabetes. These changes would include losing weight to bring your total weight to a near-normal range (even losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight will help), exercising daily (30 minutes a day), and eating balanced meals with low-fat protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Calorie control, portion sizes, and low-sugar, low-carbohydrate choices are key and eating adequate fiber every day also helps.

‘Ask a Doc’ is a weekly post by Holyoke Medical Center. To ask a question, please feel free to submit to webadministrator@holyokehealth.com and we will do our best to answer it.

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