Prediabetes: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Arjun Subash Kalasapur, MBBS, MD (Medicine) January 20, 2022

Last updated on October 11th, 2023

In a world grappling with an escalating diabetes epidemic, the term “prediabetes” has emerged as a critical warning sign. Prediabetes presents both an opportunity and a challenge. With millions of individuals worldwide, understanding prediabetes as more than just a precursor to diabetes is imperative.

This article delves into the complexity of prediabetes. It unravels its significance as a pivotal juncture for intervention and shedding light on the proactive measures individuals can adopt to steer clear of the progression to full-fledged type 2 diabetes.

We’ll also discuss defining prediabetes meaning and detecting how it can happen and its symptoms. Then, we explain the tests you can undergo to detect it and, finally, ways to stop it and prediabetes self care.

What is Prediabetes?

When your blood sugar levels are higher than usual, you have prediabetes. However, it’s not that high enough to be classified as type-2 diabetes. The blood sugar level ranges just below the cutoff for type-2 diabetes.

Prediabetes serves as a warning indicator so that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or best averted. People with type-2 diabetes typically had prediabetes initially, but their disregard for their health caused it to progress to type-2 diabetes. Insulin resistance leads to prediabetes in a person.

If your prediabetes HbA1c level, or the average blood sugar over the last two to three months, is between 5.7% and 6.4%, then you have prediabetes. HbA1c levels under 5.7% are considered normal, whereas levels over 6.4% signify type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes fasting glucose levels are another indicator of prediabetes. You may have prediabetes if your fasting prediabetes sugar level ranges between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL. A diabetic has a fasting sugar of 126 mg/dL or above, while a normal person has one below 100 mg/dL.

A glucose tolerance test (GTT) is a different method of determining prediabetes. A patient with prediabetes will have a GTT blood sugar ranging between 140 mg/dL and 199 mg/dL.

Read More: How to Reverse Prediabetes Naturally?

What is Prediabetes Range?

Prediabetes Chart

  Normal Prediabetes Diabetes
HbA1c 5.6% or less 5.7%-6.4% 6.5% or more
Oral Glucose Tolerance 140mg/dL or less 140-199mg/dL 200mg/dL or more
Fasting Blood Glucose 99mg/dL or less 100-125mg/dL 126mg/dL or more

What is Prediabetes Range with respect to HbA1c and Glucose Levels?

What is Prediabetes Range with respect to HbA1c and Glucose Levels?

Understanding prediabetes involves delving into two crucial indicators: HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c) levels and fasting glucose levels. These metrics offer insights into your blood sugar control and play a pivotal role in assessing your prediabetes status.

Prediabetes HbA1c Range

Imagine HbA1c as a snapshot of your blood sugar history over the past two to three months. It provides a comprehensive view of how well your body has managed glucose levels.

In individuals without diabetes, the typical HbA1c level ranges below 5.7%. However, in prediabetes, the HbA1c level falls within the range of 5.7% to 6.4%. If your HbA1c measurement falls in this range, it’s a signal that you are situated in the prediabetic territory, that is in the prediabetes hba1c range.

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) serves as a crucial indicator of your blood sugar control over the past two to three months. Understanding the numbers within the prediabetes HbA1c range provides insights into the prevalence and impact of this condition:

  • 5.7% to 6.4%: prediabetes hba1c range – Individuals with HbA1c levels falling within this range are considered prediabetic.
  • 5.6% or Below: Optimal Range – An HbA1c level of 5.6% or below is considered within the optimal range. It’s important to note that being within this range doesn’t mean you’re completely immune to prediabetes. However, maintaining prediabetes range hba1c levels below 5.7% significantly reduces the risk of progressing to full-blown diabetes.

Read More: HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c) A1c Chart, Test, Levels, & Normal Range

Prediabetes Range After Eating

While fasting glucose levels provide a window into your body’s response to rest, postprandial (after eating) blood sugar levels show how effectively your body processes glucose after a meal.

Typically, two hours after a meal, your blood sugar should settle below 140 mg/dL. This signifies that your body efficiently manages the influx of glucose from food.

However, if your post-meal blood sugar ranges from 140 to 199 mg/dL, it means you are in the prediabetes zone. This prediabetes range after eating indicates that your body is encountering challenges in processing glucose, which could potentially lead to diabetes down the road if not addressed.

What Causes Prediabetes?

Prediabetes develops when insulin in your body does not work properly. Insulin primarily helps the blood cells to use glucose from your bloodstream. When your body is unable to use insulin effectively, then glucose levels in your blood rise.

Higher levels of blood sugar than normal indicate prediabetes. Prediabetes sugar level is higher than normal levels but lesser than diabetes sugar levels. If you do not control prediabetes, it can develop into diabetes type-2. Such high glucose levels in your blood can damage your nerves and blood vessels as well.

Read More: Best Diet for Prediabetes.

Prediabetes Symptoms

Prediabetes Symptoms

Usually, prediabetes symptoms or signs of prediabetes are not generally detected. Mostly, people get prediabetes diagnosed by chance. This can happen during the medical screening or routine blood check. Therefore, it is important to keep checking your blood sugar if you fall in the category of people having a high-risk factor of being prediabetic. The warning signs of prediabetes may include:

Increased Hunger And Thirst

In symptoms of prediabetes, increased thirst and hunger are top signs. Increasing blood sugar levels in your body are a result of a lack of insulin or insulin resistance. This means your body is not able to convert food into energy. Lack of energy, therefore, makes you feel more hungry and thirsty.

Unexpected Weight Loss

Lack of insulin or insulin resistance prevents your body from getting glucose from the bloodstream. It hence causes a lack of energy. Thereafter, your body starts burning fat and muscle to get energy. This causes overall body weight loss. This is another one of the top prediabetes symptoms.

Read More: Know About Good Foods for Prediabetes

Frequent Urination

Another sign of prediabetes is an increase in urination. Excess blood sugar in your bloodstream triggers your body to produce more urine to flush out excess glucose from the body.


When your body doesn’t get enough energy to work due to a lack of insulin, you may feel tired all the time. The low energy level is one of the prediabetes symptoms.

Read More: Know The Prediabetes Range Before and After Eating.

Risk Factors For Prediabetes

Risk Factors For Prediabetes

Some of the risk factors for prediabetes include:

  • Haemoglobin A1C level between 5.7%-6.4%
  • A family history of prediabetes or diabetes type-2
  • Being overweight or physically inactive
  • Age is 45 years or more
  • Women who had gestational diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Eating too much-processed food, sugar, and soda
  • Being under high stress
  • Smoking

These factors increase your risk of becoming a prediabetic. You need to take special care of your health if you are under any of the mentioned factors.

Read More: Is Type 2 Diabetes Curable?

Prediabetes Diagnosis and Treatment

Prediabetes Diagonse and treatment

Your doctor will suggest any of the following tests to diagnose prediabetes in case they notice symptoms of prediabetes. In prediabetes treatment, these tests will be at the top prediabetes chart.

Haemoglobin A1c test

A prediabetes HbA1c blood test helps calculate your average blood sugar levels in the past 2-3 months. This test calculates the percentage of haemoglobin that is bound to the blood sugar. The prediabetes HbA1c level is between 5.7% and 6.4%.

Oral Glucose tolerance test

Oral glucose tolerance is the ability of your body to tolerate the consumed glucose. This test measures how your body maintains its blood sugar levels after consuming sugary solutions. In this test, there is a comparison of prediabetes blood sugar levels before and after drinking the sugary solution. This test is very common for diagnosing gestational diabetes. If you have prediabetes, your prediabetes glucose level or blood sugar level will be in the range of 140-199 mg/dl.

Read More: What Is Type 2 Diabetes Management?

Fasting Blood Sugar Test

Fasting blood glucose is a type of blood test. It requires a person to fast for more than 8 hours or overnight. A fasting blood sugar test measures the level of glucose in your blood in a fasting state. The purpose of this test is to determine how your body can maintain blood sugar levels. The normal range of prediabetes fasting glucose is between 100-125 mg/dL. A normal person will have a fasting blood sugar between 70-99 mg/dL. On the contrary, a diabetic has a fasting blood glucose of 140+ mg/dL.

Prediabetes Treatment

The best prediabetes treatment is the natural cure for prediabetes. Switch to healthy eating habits and start doing strength and mass-building exercises. Adopting these lifestyle modifications is the best prediabetes medication you can ask for. Doctors for prediabetes management recommend the following:

Weight Management:

For a complete prediabetes cure, it’s important to maintain body weight in accordance with BMI. So overweight and obese prediabetes patients should lose a few kilos. Losing even around 5-7% of body weight, you will start experiencing positive health changes in your body. On the contrary, underweight prediabetics should gain weight and build up some muscle mass.

Balanced Diet:

Another important factor for prediabetes treatment is switching to a nutritious diet. Include non-starchy veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet. Avoid simple carb food sources, sugary food items, and animal and dairy products.

Some other steps to follow for prediabetes management include:

  • Quit Smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption to a bare minimum or best avoid it.
  • Build muscle mass
  • Do stress management
  • Keep related disorders in check like blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
  • Maintain a proper sleep schedule of a minimum of 7-8 hours
  • Join a support group of individuals tackling the same issues.

Read More: Can Type 2 Diabetes be Reversed Permanently?

Can Prediabetes be cured?

While there are many ways to control prediabetes, you can wonder, is prediabetes curable? Well, the good news is yes, you can reverse prediabetes (diabetes cannot be cured since it’s a metabolic syndrome).

Inculcating some lifestyle changes or modifications, and you can have a natural cure for prediabetes. By adopting a healthy diet, engaging in regular muscle-building workouts and maintaining a healthy weight, many people with prediabetes can bring their prediabetes blood sugar levels back to within normal ranges.

These changes can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, it’s important to continue these habits long-term to sustain the benefits and prevent the condition from worsening. Another important prediabetes self-care is consistently monitoring your sugar levels and periodic HbA1c level checks.

Read More: Know About Madhunashini Vati For Diabetes.

Prediabetes Management

Prediabetes is a hard stop for your sedentary lifestyle if you want to reverse prediabetes. Constantly high blood sugar in the prediabetes phase in no time can breach the prediabetes blood sugar levels and go into the diabetic range.

Prediabetes self care includes switching to balanced diets loaded with whole grains, lean proteins, non-starchy veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. Limit sugary foods and refined carbohydrates, another top prediabetes self-care.

Prediabetes management includes engaging in regular strength or muscle-building exercise, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise. Or 75 minutes of vigorous muscle-building exercise per week.

A Finnish diabetes prevention study demonstrated that lifestyle changes aimed at weight loss, healthy eating, and increased physical workout lessened the risk of type 2 diabetes by 58% over four years.

Another study by the Indian Diabetes Prevention Program, a lifestyle intervention that included a low-calorie diet, increased physical activity, and behavioural changes, led to a 28% dip in the risk of type 2 diabetes over three years. Steps you can take for prediabetes management include:

  • Closely working with a dietician or doctor and making tailored dietary changes that suit your body best.
  • Discovering and exploring new workout regimes with a focus on muscle-building exercises.
  • Joining and following people with similar goals and better lifestyles.
  • Managing your stress levels and detecting hindrances to your progress.
  • Be very careful of your portion sizes to avoid overeating and manage calorie intake.
  • Limiting and consumption of smoking and alcohol as these increase the risk of progression to diabetes from prediabetes.

Read More: Can Intermittent Fasting Benefit People with Diabetes?

Stop Prediabetes: How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Preventing Progression to Diabetes

The ultimate objective when you find yourself within the prediabetes range is to prevent its progression to type 2 diabetes. Imagine your journey as a relay race, with you passing the baton of health from one stage to the next. You won’t even have to worry about the prediabetes hba1c range. The steps you take today significantly impact your future well-being. Let’s delve into strategies that can aid in preventing the advancement of diabetes.

1. Healthy Eating Habits

Focus on incorporating whole grains, lean proteins, an array of vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats into your meals. Embrace the concept of mindful eating, savoring each bite and being attuned to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. By following healthy eating habits, you can also tackle the prediabetes range after eating.

Read More: What Are The Problems Caused By High Triglycerides?

2. Regular Physical Activity

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Imagine yourself dancing, walking briskly, or engaging in activities that elevate your heart rate, and invigorate your body. Complement these aerobic exercises with muscle-strengthening activities two or more days per week. Imagine this routine as the rhythm that keeps your body in sync.

3. Weight Management

Picture your body as a finely tuned instrument, with each component affecting the overall harmony. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the keynotes to creating this harmony. Even a modest reduction in weight can lead to significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Envision your weight management journey as a gradual, sustainable transformation rather than a sprint.

Read More: Is Mushroom Good for Diabetes Patients?

4. Stress Reduction and Sleep

Imagine stress reduction and adequate sleep as the soothing melodies that soothe your body’s symphony. Chronic stress can disrupt your body’s glucose metabolism, impacting blood sugar levels. Prioritize stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Similarly, envision sleep as a cherished treasure, an opportunity for your body to rejuvenate and repair itself. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

5. Regular Health Check-ups

Imagine regular health check-ups as compass points that guide your journey. Consistent monitoring and dialogue with healthcare professionals allow you to track your progress, address any concerns, and receive guidance tailored to your evolving needs. These check-ups are instrumental in ensuring you stay on course and make any necessary adjustments to your strategy.

Read More: Is Bitter Gourd Good for Diabetes Patients?


In conclusion, prediabetes serves as a crucial warning signal that should not be ignored. As we’ve explored, it’s a condition that occurs when sugar levels are above normal but not yet high enough to be in the diabetic range. Understanding the mechanisms behind prediabetes, recognising prediabetes symptoms, and utilising the above-mentioned tests for detection are pivotal steps in early intervention. By identifying prediabetes and adopting necessary lifestyle changes, you start prediabetes management. In prediabetes management you follow steps like maintaining an appropriate diet, engaging in regular strength and muscle-building exercises, managing stress, etc. Individuals can significantly reduce the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes. The journey from prediabetes to diabetes is not inevitable. Armed with knowledge and proactive measures, one can pave the way to better health and a diabetes-free future. Remember, taking action today can make all the difference tomorrow.

Are you facing any issues regarding prediabetes or have any doubts about its management? Our experienced health experts at Breathe Well-Being are here to help you out. We have a team of health professionals with many years of experience and proven records of helping many patients reverse prediabetes. They can help you devise the perfect strategy to control and reverse prediabetes. So why wait? Call us today!

Read More: 10 Best Glucometers in India


What is a Fasting Range For Prediabetes?

The prediabetes fasting glucose range is between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL. A normal person has a fasting blood glucose between 70 mg/dL and 99 mg/dL. On the contrary, a diabetes patient has a fasting blood glucose of above 140 mg/dL.

Can Walking Reverse Prediabetes?

Well, the answer to the question is a little complicated walking is definitely one of the lifestyle modifications you need to adapt for reversing prediabetes. However, along with walking, you need to take proper meals suited for controlling prediabetes and also do some muscle-building workouts. Switching to these lifestyle changes and sticking to them for some time can definitely control prediabetes and also reverse it.

Does prediabetes mean you will get diabetes?

No, having prediabetes doesn’t necessarily mean you will get diabetes. Prediabetes is the stage before the development of type 2 diabetes. With proper treatment and prediabetes self care you can have a natural cure for prediabetes without medicines. The changes involve exiting the sedentary lifestyle and adopting a few lifestyle changes, like a proper diet plan and physical workout schedule.

Can stress be a cause of prediabetes?

Yes, stress is one of the reasons for prediabetes. Stress increases certain hormones in your body which increases your blood sugar levels. Persistence of stress over some time can cause prediabetes. This can lead to diabetes type-2. Thus, keep yourself stress-free to enjoy a healthy life.

Is there any special diet for prediabetics?

Well, there is no special diet for people with prediabetes. However, they can prevent diabetes type-2 after developing prediabetes. They can give up sugary drinks and switch to fresh fruit juices, water, black coffee, and tea without sugar. Replace processed food items with whole grains and whole-grain products.  Include nuts, healthy fats, seeds, and vegetables in your diet.

Can I start metformin to treat prediabetes?

Undoubtedly, metformin is one of the best medicines that help in lowering your blood sugar levels. It is suitable for people with diabetes type-2. However, in some cases of prediabetes, doctors can recommend metformin. You should not start metformin without a prescription.

How frequently should I check my blood sugar if I am prediabetic?

If you have prediabetes, the doctor may recommend you blood sugar check after every 1 to 3 years. It is your risk factors that determine whether you need to get your blood sugar check annually or after every three years. This helps you to know if you have prediabetes sugar level in a normal range or not.

Can you avoid diabetes after being diagnosed with prediabetes?

According to the National Institutes of Health and American health institute, prediabetes is reversible. Prediabetes is treatable through lifestyle modification and proper medication. You need to exercise daily and control your diet as well. People with prediabetes who do not make changes in their lifestyle are at higher risk of developing diabetes type-2.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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