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Borderline Diabetes: What Does it Mean and Should You Be Worried?

Medically reviewed by Elfred Landas, MD · General Practitioner · Maxicare Primary Care Center

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Oct 14, 2021

Borderline Diabetes: What Does it Mean and Should You Be Worried?

Diabetes is a serious condition that requires a lot of care to avoid serious complications. But what about borderline diabetes? Is it the same as having diabetes, and what can people do about this condition?

What is Borderline Diabetes?

Borderline diabetes, also known as prediabetes, is a condition wherein a person has elevated blood sugar levels than normal, but lower than that of diabetics.

Having prediabetes means that you have an increased risk of diabetes, and it’s very possible for you to develop the disease if you don’t make any lifestyle changes.

Doctors sometimes diagnose diabetes using HBA1c Test. However since it’s not widely available and there is a lack of standardization in results, doctors use it with caution and confirm the result by doing any of the following:

  • Fasting plasma glucose
  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • Random plasma glucose

Unlike diabetes, prediabetes usually doesn’t have any outward symptoms. This means that a person might be prediabetic for years without knowing it, and then suddenly experience the symptoms of diabetes. This is why it’s important for people to undergo yearly checkups so that they can keep tabs on their health.

Specifically, people who are obese, overweight, as well as those with a family history of type 2 diabetes need to be mindful of prediabetes. If you are part of this group, it would be a good idea to get tested annually in order to keep track of your blood sugar levels.

Warning Signs of Prediabetes to Watch Out For

Should You Be Worried?

Having prediabetes doesn’t mean that you will 100% develop diabetes later on. Though, there is a high probability that it could happen if you don’t do anything about it.

But prediabetes doesn’t only mean that you’re at risk of diabetes. It’s also possible that the damage that diabetes can cause has already started. In particular, your kidneys, heart, and blood vessels might be at risk of damage.

In some cases, prediabetes can also cause retinopathy or damage to the optic nerves. This can affect your vision, and even cause blindness. But thankfully, prediabetes is still something that can be reversed. And it’s best to start as soon as possible.

You should never take a prediabetes diagnosis lightly. It should serve as a wake-up call that you need to make some lifestyle changes. This not only reduces your risk for diabetes, but also heart disease, cardiovascular illness, and even stroke.

The decision to be healthier will benefit your body in more ways than one, so it’s a good decision to make.

What Can You Do About it?

There are a number of things that you can do in order to reverse your prediabetes. Here are some of the most effective ways:

Lose weight

If you are obese or overweight and diagnosed with prediabetes, then it is important to achieve a healthier weight. This is because losing weight can significantly lower your risk of diabetes, as well as cardiovascular problems, and hypertension.

Exercise daily

Daily exercise for at least 30 minutes is a good way to reverse prediabetes. Even simple exercises such as jogging, walking up and down the stairs, cycling, or lifting weights can help you stay healthy and avoid diabetes. Exercise also helps you lose weight, so it’s a good idea to make it a part of your lifestyle.

Eat healthy

Aside from exercise, it’s also important to eat healthy foods. Avoid eating fatty, sweet, salty, and processed foods. Instead, prioritize eating fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fish, grain, and healthy seeds and nuts.

What is the Diabetic Diet?

Quit smoking

Smoking, aside from increasing your risk of lung cancer, can also lead to diabetes. This is because smoking increases the body’s resistance to insulin, which leads to diabetes.

Stay on top of your health

Lastly, it’s important to stay on top of your health. This means getting annual checkups and getting tested for your blood sugar levels. This can give you insight into your current state of health.

Learn more about Diabetes here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Elfred Landas, MD

General Practitioner · Maxicare Primary Care Center

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Oct 14, 2021

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