People with prediabetes have higher-than-normal blood glucose levels that aren't high enough to be called diabetes. Prediabetes is a common health condition, especially among overweight adults. Unfortunately, most people who have prediabetes are not aware they have the condition.

Understanding Blood Glucose

In a healthy person, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin to help the body turn blood glucose (commonly called blood sugar) into energy. A high glucose level is a sign that this process is not working properly. The pancreas is struggling to meet the body's needs. The person has developed prediabetes. If a person who has prediabetes does not adopt a healthier lifestyle, the pancreas works harder until it cannot produce enough insulin. If this happens, the person has type 2 diabetes.

Risk Factors

Many factors raise a person's risk for developing prediabetes. It's more likely to develop in people who are 45 or older. People who are overweight, physically inactive or who have family members with this disease are at a higher risk. It is more common in certain racial and ethnic groups, including people who are of black, Hispanic or Asian descent. And it is more common in women who have developed gestational diabetes, or who have given birth to a large baby.


In most cases, people do not have any symptoms of prediabetes. A person who is at risk should have regular checkups with a doctor to test for signs of the condition.


If not managed properly, prediabetes can worsen over time. It can lead to serious complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.


Prediabetes can be managed with a healthier lifestyle. A person who is overweight should lose weight with healthy eating and regular exercise. This can bring blood glucose levels down to normal levels, or at least keep them from rising higher. A doctor may prescribe medications to treat prediabetes or other health issues.