Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.
“It’s sort of an in-between condition,” says Sue Kirkman, MD, professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at UNC Health. “It’s considered a precursor to type 2 diabetes.”
Breaking Down Prediabetes
Blood sugar levels that are between 100 and 127 mg/dL are considered prediabetes, according to the American College of Cardiology. Normal is between 70 and 100 mg/dL, and anything above 127 is considered type 2 diabetes.
About one-third of Americans have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although the majority don’t know it.
People who have been diagnosed with the condition have a 50 percent chance of moving on to full-blown type 2 diabetes within the next five to 10 years, according to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
“If changes aren’t made in eating habits and activity, many people with prediabetes will move into the diabetes category,” Julie Stefanski, RDN, a dietitian, certified diabetes instructor and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, tells .
Even if you don’t develop diabetes, though, having prediabetes can up your risk of heart and kidney disease, per the Mayo Clinic.
If you know you have prediabetes, you have the opportunity to take measures to get your blood sugar levels down to a healthy range and prevent the condition from progressing.