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Harvard Medical School
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General Medical Questions
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Question : If I am pre-diabetic, what should my target blood sugar levels be in the morning and before I go to sleep at night?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Mary Pickett, M.D. is an Associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University where she is a primary care doctor for adults. She supervises and educates residents in the field of Internal Medicine, for outpatient and hospital care. She is a Lecturer for Harvard Medical School and a Senior Medical Editor for Harvard Health Publications.

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March 11, 2011
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A:

When glucose (blood sugar) is above 100, but no higher than 125 on fasting blood tests, a person has prediabetes. (The person's sugar is high, but not so far above normal to cause symptoms or danger.) When the glucose consistently ranges above 125, diabetes is diagnosed.

Blood sugars goals in prediabetes are to help the person return to normal. This means below 100 before breakfast and at bedtime, and less than 180 within two hours after eating a meal.

If you have prediabetes, you should have the following goals:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce your calories
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Get to an ideal body weight

Good fitness and good eating habits can help your sugars return to a normal range. You will be less likely to progress towards full diabetes. Without changing weight and exercise, about one in ten people with prediabetes will develop diabetes within about three years.

People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk for heart disease, even if they don't develop diabetes. Talk with your doctor about your blood pressure and cholesterol to make sure you are doing all you can to lower your risk of heart disease.

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