The term pre-diabetes is used to identify patients who are at increased risk for developing diabetes. Most people with pre-diabetes have no symptoms and are identified on routine screening blood tests. A fasting blood sugar between 100-126 typically indicates the need for additional testing, which may include a hemoglobin A1C or a 2 hour glucose tolerance test. Hemoglobin A1C is a non-fasting blood test which represents a 3 month average blood sugar measurement. A level between 5.7%-6.4% is indicative of pre-diabetes. A 2 hour glucose reading between 140-199 during an oral glucose tolerance test is also considered pre-diabetic. Risk factors for prediabetes include being overweight, being 45 years of age or older, family history of diabetes or having a history of diabetes during pregnancy. Fortunately pre-diabetes can be managed with lifestyle measures and rarely requires medication. Following a low carb diet, specifically limiting sweets and white carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, chips, and crackers may help. Moderate exercise such as walking briskly for 30 minutes five times a week or incorporating strength training is also important to minimize insulin resistance and improve glucose utilization by the body. Maintaining a healthy body weight is also key. A weight loss of 5-7% of your body weight, which is equivalent to 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person can be sufficient to prevent progression to diabetes. If you are concerned about your risk for pre-diabetes, it is best to speak with your doctor, since early diagnosis and treatment can prevent a number of serious problems in the future. For more information, visit www.ebrownmd.com.