Diabetes does not suddenly appear one day without previous notification from your body. For a period of time, which may last up to ten years, you may not quite achieve the criteria for a diagnosis of diabetes, but you aren't quite normal either. During this time, you have what's called prediabetes.
A person with prediabetes does not usually develop eye disease, kidney disease, or nerve damage (all potential complications of diabetes, which I discuss in Chapter 5). However, a person with prediabetes has a much greater risk of developing heart disease and brain attacks than someone with entirely normal blood glucose levels. Prediabetes has a lot in common with insulin resistance syndrome, also known as the metabolic syndrome, which I discuss in Chapter 5. The following two sections take the mystery out of whether you may have prediabetes by giving you some guidelines on when to get tested as well as what testing for prediabetes involves.
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