Prediabetes For Dummies
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If you’re at risk for prediabetes, you should have several tests and measurements done in addition to having your blood glucose checked. These measurements can provide a baseline against which you and your doctor can compare future tests, and each one provides key information about your current health:

  • Hemoglobin A1c: This test of a substance found in your red blood cells measures your blood glucose levels for the past three months, which offers you a broader perspective on your blood glucose level. It’s not currently used to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes.

  • Blood pressure: The prevalence of high blood pressure is rising in step with prediabetes and diabetes. That’s because prediabetes and diabetes are rooted in the same problems as high blood pressure: increased weight and a sedentary lifestyle. If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, chances are you need to be concerned about your blood pressure as well.

  • Weight and height: These simple measurements are crucial to know so you can calculate your body mass index — a number that helps you determine whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

  • Lipid panel: This test shows your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride level. Abnormal levels of cholesterol contribute to heart disease, which is a particular concern for people with prediabetes and diabetes. Abnormal lipids (or blood fats) are also strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome — a condition that often goes hand-in-hand with prediabetes and diabetes.

  • C-reactive protein: This test shows evidence of inflammation, which is elevated if you have the metabolic syndrome and may be a precursor of cardiovascular disease.

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone: This test checks for evidence of thyroid disease, which often accompanies diabetes and tends to be asymptomatic.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Alan L. Rubin, MD, is one of the nation's foremost authorities on prediabetes and diabetes. He is the author of Diabetes For Dummies, Diabetes Cookbook For Dummies, Type 1 Diabetes For Dummies, and Thyroid For Dummies.

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