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Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes


Updated May 16, 2014

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is the precursor to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. As weight increases, cells become more resistant to the insulin that the pancrease produces. This leads to increased glucose circulating in the blood


A Diagnosis of Pre-diabetes:

What does this mean? It means that cells in your body are becoming resistant to insulin and your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be. Since the levels aren't as high as they would be if you had type 2 diabetes, the term "pre-diabetes" is used. Your doctor may also call this condition "impaired fasting glucose" or "impaired glucose tolerance". According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 41 million Americans between the ages of 40 and 74 have pre-diabetes.

Risk Factors:

The risk factors are the same for pre-diabetes as they are for type 2 diabetes.

  • Overweight or obese
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history
  • Age
  • Race - African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians are at greater risk for type 2 diabetes
  • A previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes
  • Signs and Symptoms of Pre-diabetes:

    Very often there are no signs or symptoms for pre-diabetes. It is often discovered during a routine physical with basic screening for fasting blood glucose levels. The normal level is below 100 mg/dl. If it's 100 to 125 mg/dl, this indicates that you have impaired fasting glucose or pre-diabetes. Over 126 mg/dl most likely means a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

    Preventing Type 2:

    Having pre-diabetes puts you at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes in the future. But it doesn't have to mean that you will get type 2 diabetes. A healthy lifestyle change can lower your risk and improve the way your body uses insulin. A low fat diet and calories can help you lose weight. The less fat and more muscle you have, the less resistant to insulin you will be. Exercising regularly not only helps you to lose weight, but also help lower your blood glucose level by using glucose as energy.

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