Diagnosed as prediabetic?
The “prediabetes range” refers to the range of blood sugar levels shown by taking a blood test for diabetes. Someone taking the test would want to know if they are in the normal, prediabetic, or diabetic range. Or to put it another way “how high does my blood sugar level have to be to be diagnosed as prediabetic?” An HbA1c test reflects the average levels of blood sugar in the 12 weeks immediately before you took the HbA1c test. The result of the test indicates whether you are diabetic, prediabetic or within the “normal” range. Essentially Prediabetes is the stage between the two other ranges but is one step away from becoming a full-blown type2 diabetic. Type2 diabetes is a very serious condition which will shorten your life if you don’t address it.
Measuring your blood sugar levels
Prediabetes is diagnosed by measuring your blood sugar levels. There are two different scales to measure blood sugar (just like we can describe the temperature as degrees Centigrade or degrees Fahrenheit!) The American scale is milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) which is the number of milligrams of sugar in every decilitre (100ml) of blood. The UK scale is mmol/l. Just like Centigrade and Fahrenheit it is easy enough to convert between the two scales, but to help you we have provided a handy conversion chart below.
There are broadly speaking three tests for diabetes:
- An HbA1c test (which your GP can order) indicates whether you are in the prediabetic range. This is the gold standard test. This test works slightly differently compared to the other two tests. It measures the amount of glucose attached to the haemoglobin (red blood cells) in your blood stream over a prolonged period of approximately 12 weeks. The bottom of the Prediabetes range is 42 mmol/m or 6%. The top of the Prediabetic range is 47mmol/m or 6.5%.
Beware! If you are JUST below the Prediabetic range, do not become complacent and “carry on regardless” because Prediabetes and then fully blown type2 diabetes will inevitably follow at some point if you don’t act. Make changes now and head this horrible disease off before the damage is done!
Unsure what to do next?
Book a free 15-minute exploratory call with Graham to discuss any concerns you might have about being in the prediabetic range. Start living healthier, free from the worry about your blood sugar levels.
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- Fasting Blood Sugar Test: this is a test that measures your blood sugar levels after an overnight fast when you have not eaten for at least 8 hours. You can take a blood sample and measure the results using a diabetes test strip (glucometer). This is the most convenient type of test, requiring you to have only fasted overnight. However, it is less accurate.
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Tests are designed to a more specific and diagnostic test for diabetes and prediabetes. They are conducted by drinking 75g of glucose solution dissolved in a glass of water, which raises your blood sugar. You then take a series of blood sugar readings using a finger prick test (Glucometer). This test can take up to three hours for fully accurate results.
Regardless of your results, its vital you do not let your blood sugar levels become uncontrollable. If you are worried or want to find ways to keep your blood sugar levels in check, book the free 15-minute consultation with Graham. We can help set you up for years of healthy living without worrying about life threatening conditions like prediabetes and type2 diabetes.
OGTT (Oral glucose tolerance test) Why is my blood sugar high?
There can be several reasons for high blood sugar, but overwhelmingly it is about your diet. Blood sugar rises after we eat and so does our insulin levels in response. Insulin levels reduce again once the glucose has been absorbed into our cells, burnt doe energy, or converted to fat in the liver. Even someone who has normal blood sugar levels (below 5.6 mmol/L) during fasting may experience higher levels after eating depending on the meal. Oral glucose tolerance tests are designed to test the body’s response to a high dose (75g) of sugar in a drink of water. The high intake raises your blood sugar, and it is how the body copes over the next two to three hours that is diagnostic.
Should I be worried about low blood sugar “Hypoglycaemia”?
Low blood sugar is a particular concern for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Hypoglycaemia (hypo) is a condition where your blood sugar below normal levels. If you have a blood sugar reading of 4mmol/m and are diabetic or prediabetic, then you will be likely suffering from hypoglycaemia. Fear not! Hypoglycaemia can be easily remedied if discovered, by eating or drinking something high in sugar. This will quickly raise your blood sugar levels back to a normal safe range from home.
Once your blood sugar is stable you should eat something more substantial in order to keep your levels up for a longer period. Usually this will be your next meal of the day. However hypos are indicative of deteriorating health.. a bit like a sugar rollercoaster with sugar going high. Perhaps too high, then low .. perhaps too low. So will adding some extra sugar reverses the hypo its also making the underlying problem or poor blood sugar control worse. Healthy it isn’t!
The key is to recognise when you are suffering a hypo. Knowing is half the battle but if you find it a daunting prospect to recognise hypoglycaemia, then consider joining our programme. We offer many benefits aiming to help improve our clients’ lives. In the case of hypoglycaemia, we provide all our clients with a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor), which provides a constant, 24-hours blood sugar reading for you to monitor. This will be a massive help as CGMs can give you a clear indication when you might be suffering from a hypo. If you are on that sugar roller-coaster you’ll be able to see for yourself what causes it. If you are unsure about your results, Graham and our clinical team will be a phone call away to help answer any concerns.
If you are concerned about diabetes including low blood sugar, we have lots of blogs on our website that go into much more depth around prediabetes and the associated conditions:
How can I get my blood sugar into the normal range?
It may seem like a monumental task to get your blood sugar levels within the normal range. It can be tough but is far from impossible. The root of high (and low) blood sugar levels comes from nutrition, specifically the sugar and carbs in the diet, which is something that we all struggle with at times. Understanding and addressing this is imperative if you wish to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. There are many useful resources on our website. Take a look!
Is it as simple as eating healthy?
It might seem straightforward “just eat healthy and lower your blood sugar” but its often more complex than in practise. We are all different and our bodies will react to different foods in different ways. Some foods will be more beneficial whilst others won’t… and no two people are alike as we explain here:
One way to drastically improve nutrition without simply eating “healthy” is to remove ultra-processed foods. Ultra processed foods are empty calories and one easy way to quickly help improve your blood sugar levels.
If you are concerned about prediabetes or other life-limiting health conditions, ProLongevity is here to help you. Our programme has been designed to prevent and help reverse numerous health conditions, such as prediabetes, dementia, hypertension, and even some cancers. Through the assistance of CGMs (Continuous Glucose Monitors) we use precision nutrition which is tailored to our clients’ individual and unique metabolism. Alongside lifestyle adjustments, we help set the foundations for you to Live Healthy for Longer!
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Why not book a free 15-minute consultation with our founder Graham Phillips (aka The Pharmacist who Gave Up Drugs) to see how we can help you revolutionise your health and restore many years of healthy life?