DIABETES QUESTION OF MONTH - Health BeatIf you’re living with diabetes or have been recently diagnosed, you surely have questions and concerns about this chronic condition. This is the next installment in a series of frequently asked questions about diabetes, with answers from a Spectrum Health team of doctors, nurses and dietitians.


A friend of mine told me she’s been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. What does that mean?


Normally, our body makes a hormone called insulin to help control blood sugar. With pre-diabetes, your body might not be able to make enough insulin after eating a meal, or your body might not respond to insulin properly.

As determined by a glucose tolerance test, your blood sugar (glucose) level is higher than it should be, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. This used to be called “borderline” diabetes.

The National Institutes of Health and other agencies have estimated that nearly one-third of all American adults have pre-diabetes.

A diagnosis of pre-diabetes should not be taken lightly because it means a person is at increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke.

But you can take action to lower these risks. Even modest weight loss and moderate physical activity can help people with pre-diabetes delay or even prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

This is why we encourage anyone with these concerns to see their health professional. At Spectrum Health, we offer classes on pre-diabetes every other month. They’re free and open to the public.