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A person who has borderline diabetes, also referred to as prediabetes, has higher than normal blood sugar levels. Even though the levels may be abnormally high, they are not high enough to indicate full blown diabetes. Many people with borderline diabetes eventually develop type 2 diabetes, but this can sometimes be avoided if steps are taken to improve overall health. People with this condition normally have blood sugar levels that fall between 100 and 125 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). Levels less than 100 mg/dl are normal, and levels more than 125 mg/dl indicate diabetes.
There are two different tests doctors typically use to diagnose borderline diabetes. The first test is a standard fasting test that requires a person to avoid eating for a certain amount of time, usually overnight, before having his or her blood drawn. If the results show a sign of prediabetes, the test is often done again. It is important that the test be performed at least a few times so doctors can be sure that levels are consistently high before diagnosing their patients.
The other test that some doctors use to determine if a patient has borderline diabetes is the oral glucose test. This test is similar to the fasting test, but a patient is usually asked to drink a very sweet liquid in the morning before the test is done. A doctor will normally take blood just after the patient drinks the liquid and again a few hours later. This is to find out how quickly the body can get rid of the excess glucose in the blood. If the blood levels are between 140 and 199 mg/dl after the second time the blood is taken, the patient probably has borderline diabetes.
If a person is diagnosed with borderline, or prediabetes, this does not mean it is inevitable that he or she will eventually have diabetes. This diagnosis could actually be considered a positive thing because it may give a person the chance he needs to improve his health, which would likely prevent him from ever being diagnosed with diabetes. After a borderline diabetes diagnosis has been made, it is very important for a person to start eating healthy foods, begin an exercise routine, and lose some weight if she needs to. In most cases, doctors ask patients with borderline diabetes to check their blood sugar levels every day to be sure they don't go too high. After a few months of making improved lifestyle changes, a patient should probably go back and have the same tests done again in case there may be some improvement.