Prediabetes and Your Child
You’ve been told that your child has
prediabetes. This means that your child's blood sugar (glucose) is too high. Your
at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the body isn't able to use insulin very well. Insulin is needed
to use the sugar in the blood. This is different than type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes,
the body doesn't make enough insulin. It's most often from the body's immune system
damaging the cells in the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ where insulin is made.
Over time, high blood sugar
(hyperglycemia) can lead to many health problems. For example, when your child is
they may develop heart, eye, or kidney disease. You can take action now to lower
child's blood glucose level and help prevent diabetes in your child.
What is prediabetes?
their blood. Lab tests to check
blood sugar include:
Fasting blood sugar (FBS).
This test measures blood sugar after not eating for at least 8 hours, often
overnight. A normal FBS should be less than 100 mg/dL.
Glucose tolerance test
This test measures blood sugar 2 hours after drinking a special
high-sugar drink. A normal 2-hour GTT should be less than 140 mg/dL. If this test
is used for screening, adequate carbohydrate intake of at least 150 grams per day
should be assured for 3 days before testing.
Hemoglobin A1C (glycated
This test measures the average blood sugar over time. A
normal A1C should be less than 5.7%.
This means that your child had an
FBS level of 100 to 125 at least once. Your child may also have had a 2-hour GTT result
of 140 to 199, or an A1C of 5.7% to 6.4%. Higher values than these ranges normally
that your child has diabetes.
Who is at risk for prediabetes?
Diabetes often runs in families.
African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, and Pacific Islander families
are often affected. Your child may be more likely to develop diabetes if:
They spend more time sitting
than being active
They are overweight for
their age and height
A parent or sibling has diabetes
The mother had diabetes
during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
Talk with your child's healthcare provider about these and other risks.
You can help prevent type 2 diabetes
You can help decrease your child’s
risk of getting diabetes. Work with your child’s healthcare provider on the
Healthy eating. Make sure your child is eating many different kinds of
foods. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat
dairy. Limit sugars and fats. And limit processed, prepackaged foods and fast
foods, such as burgers, fries, and shakes. Stay away from sugary drinks, such as
nondiet soda, sports drinks, lemonade, and sweet tea. These foods are high in
calories, fat, and sodium. They are also low in nutrition.
Physical activity. Being active helps your child’s body use glucose. Try
for at least 60 minutes of active playtime every day. It doesn’t have to be all at
once. A few playtimes of 10 to 20 minutes add up.
Weight loss. Ask your
healthcare provider for a referral to a lifestyle intervention program. This
program will help your child get to and stay at a 7% weight loss and increase
physical activity. Even a loss of 5% to 7% of body weight may help your child’s
body use glucose better
To learn more
For more information about
diabetes, visit these websites: