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This article tells about symptoms of prediabetes and strategies to prevent progression to diabetes.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 29, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 12, 2024


Diabetes is a disease that, once it occurs, usually lasts a lifetime with the patient. According to experts, many people who are not completely diabetic have prediabetes, and their blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough for a doctor to call it diabetes. In such cases, it is important to know about prediabetes so that the problem of diabetes can be controlled before it occurs.

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a problem that, if taken care of in time, can save a person from diabetes and its complications. By definition, prediabetes is when fasting blood sugar levels are 100 to 125 mg/dl or random blood sugar levels are 141 to 199 mg/dl or HbA1c levels are 5.7 % to 6.4 %.

In the case of prediabetes, an oral glucose tolerance test is done in which the patient's fasting blood sugar level is checked, then the patient is asked to drink 75 grams of glucose dissolved in 300 ml of water. Then blood sugar level is checked at 1 hour and again at 2 hours. During the entire period, the patient is asked to be lying in bed. Blood sugar level at 2 hours is used for diagnosis of diabetes if the level reaches 200 mg/dl and the patient is labeled as diabetic.

Experts say that if you suffer from prediabetes, you can avoid a situation like type 2 diabetes by making some basic changes in your life. You can control it over time by making lifestyle changes. According to experts, in order to control this disease, it is important that you do not allow yourself to gain weight, and for this, you will have to make changes in your physical exercise and diet.

How Do I Know If I Have Prediabetes?

In the case of prediabetes, the following symptoms usually appear.

  • Weight gain and difficulty in losing weight.

  • Lack of energy in the body and feeling more tired.

  • Excessive craving for sweets.

  • Body aches.

  • Headaches.

  • Leg pain.

  • Restlessness at night.

  • Darkening of the skin color, especially in the area between the legs and armpits, and the appearance of fungus and frequent skin allergies.

  • Frequent loss of appetite.

  • Excessive urination, sometimes out of control.

  • Changes in female hormones.

  • Dry mouth and frequent thirst.

  • Frequent colds and flu and infection due to weakened immune system.

How to Manage Prediabetes?

Here are some tips on how to control prediabetes and how to avoid diabetes:

Drink More Water:

Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water controls prediabetes and is also very beneficial for your health. Drinking plenty of water can help control prediabetes in many ways, and excessive water intake, where it is good for the skin, can help prevent fat buildup and eliminate waste products from the body.

Black Coffee:

Many people suffer from prediabetes due to drinking sugar in tea and coffee and then soon develop diabetes due to not giving up this habit. If you are suffering from prediabetes, then it is better for you to reduce caffeine intake in your diet and stop using sugar and cream in tea and coffee, and do not take more than one or two cups a day. Prefer black coffee over tea and cream coffee, although black coffee may taste bitter at first. Remember that giving preference to mouth flavor is one of the things that can ruin our health.

Apple Cider:

Include apple cider vinegar in your diet as it has many health benefits that can enhance your health. Apple cider vinegar plays an important role in lowering blood sugar levels in pre-diabetic patients, especially if two tablespoons of it is used at night before going to bed.

Avoid Soda and Syrup:

If you are suffering from prediabetes, these sweet drinks will be poison for you and will make you diabetic very soon, so give them up in any case. If you want to drink, use diet and sugar-free soda, and that too only occasionally.

Dietary Changes:

People generally believe that diabetes is caused by just eating too many sweets and diabetics have normal blood sugar if they skip only sweets, but this is not true because foods that contain carbohydrates, such as rice, are also harmful to diabetes because carbohydrates are converted into sugar during digestion, and then this sugar enters the bloodstream and raises glucose levels.

In prediabetes and diabetes, reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, that is do not consume too much bread and rice and do not eat bakery items such as biscuits, and sugary products at any cost. You can satisfy your craving for sweets with good desserts, and fresh fruits are at the top of the list of good desserts. In addition, dates are also a dessert that does not raise blood sugar levels rapidly.


Make exercise a part of your daily routine and exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes a day so that you breathe rapidly. It may seem hard initially, but with each passing day, this habit will change for the better in your life and will help you to stay young and healthy for a long time. Some good exercises are brisk walking at 4 km per hour, cycling at 16 km per hour, rope skipping, recreational swimming, tennis doubles, etc.

Weight Management:

If you are obese or overweight, reduce weight to a normal BMI (body mass index) range. If you are in the upper range of normal BMI, reduce it to a lower range of normal BMI. The normal BMI range is from 18.5 to 24.9, but for South Asians, the range is a bit lower, that is from 18.5 to 22.9. Body mass index is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meter square (weight kgs/height in meter square). Another measure of obesity is waist circumference. The normal upper limit of waist circumference for males is 102 cms and for females is 88 cms, but for South Asian males, it is 90 cms and for females, 80 cms. The waist-to-hip ratio is also important. For males, the upper limit of the W/H ratio is 0.95, and for females, it is 0.85.

Apart from these, 8 hours of sleep, including at least 6 hours uninterrupted sleep at night, avoidance of stress and anxiety is necessary. Meditation and deep breathing exercises are good options to cope with mental stress.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Indications for Prediabetes?

Individuals with the following symptoms may have a chance of developing prediabetes.
- Fatigue.
- Blurred vision.
- Frequent urination.
- Increased hunger.
- Numbness.
- Tingling sensation in the hand or feet.
- Slow-healing wounds.
- Frequent infections.


Is Prediabetes Curable?

Prediabetes is a reversible condition. Changing lifestyle habits is the key to preventing prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. Staying physically active and walking for half an hour every day helps prevent an individual from acquiring diabetes. 


What Could Be the Primary Cause of Prediabetes?

Being overweight is one of the primary causes of prediabetes. Individuals with excess fat tissue entrapped between the muscle and skin surrounding the abdomen become more resistant to insulin. Insulin is crucial in regulating the blood sugar levels in the body.


What Are the Things to Follow for Prediabetes?

Eating healthy foods high in fruits, vegetables, and nuts is associated with a lower risk of diabetes. It is important to be more active and lose excess weight to prevent prediabetes. In addition, avoiding smoking can protect an individual from becoming diabetic at an early stage of life.


Are There Any Foods to Reverse Prediabetes?

Eating a diet low in saturated and trans fats can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Choose proteins and lean meats like beans and legumes. Go for a regular health check-up to analyze any pre-existing medical conditions.


What Is the Duration an Individual Can Be Prediabetic?

Prediabetes can vary from one person to another depending on lifestyle or food habits. Some individuals may remain prediabetic without any signs or symptoms. The doctor may request that the blood sugar level be checked often to prevent prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes.


Is Stress a Cause of Prediabetes?

Generally, stress is not the major cause of diabetes, however, it can affect the blood sugar level. Usually, when people are stressed, they tend to care less for themselves. So they may end up overeating or stress eating, eventually leading to prediabetes.


Who Has Higher Chances of Prediabetes?

Individuals with a previous family history of prediabetes have a higher chance of developing it. However, it is unclear why a specific ethnic group is more susceptible to prediabetes. Also, if the siblings have type 2 diabetes, there are more chances of developing prediabetes.


Does Fasting Help with Prediabetes?

Yes, fasting helps to rest the body and normalize blood sugar levels. This significant drop in the sugar level can reduce the risk of prediabetes. Individuals should fast for a minimum of eight hours before the sugar test. This can include alternate-day fasting, time-restricted fasting, and the 5:2 diet. It improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels.


What Medication Is Advised in Prediabetes?c

Medication is not the preferred choice of treatment for prediabetes. Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise are usually recommended. In some cases, medications are prescribed in addition to lifestyle modifications. For example, Metformin is the commonly prescribed medication for prediabetes.


Is Diabetes or Prediabetes Worse?

Both diabetes and prediabetes may require management, but diabetes is considered worse as it is the advanced stage of the disease. Diabetes increases blood sugar levels due to the body's inability to provide insulin. People with diabetes have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. 


What Types of Fruits Help With Prediabetes?

The following fruits help with prediabetes.
- Apples.
- Pears.
- Peaches.
- Oranges.
- Plums. 
- Kiwi.
- Papaya. 
- Melon.


Does Prediabetes Reverse Naturally?

Prediabetes can be naturally reversed. However, it is not possible in all cases. Treating prediabetes mainly aims to prevent it from developing into type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that losing about 7 percent of body weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Muhammad Zohaib Siddiq
Dr. Muhammad Zohaib Siddiq



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