Should you be screened?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, but it’s one that doesn’t happen overnight. You may be surprised to know that people who get diabetes typically have prediabetes first. In fact 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes right now — and around 90 percent of those individuals aren’t aware they have it.

So, what does that mean?

Having prediabetes means a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not at the diabetic level. People who have prediabetes are at high risk of developing the condition, but they still have time to turn their health around with positive lifestyle changes.

Could you be at risk?

Lifestyle and genetic traits put people at risk for developing prediabetes. Some of those factors include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being 45 years old or older
  • Having a close family member who has type 2 diabetes
  • Being physically inactive
  • Being African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian-American or a Pacific Islander
  • Having delivered a baby who weighed 9 pounds or more or having a history of gestational diabetes
  • Being a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome

What can you do to lower your risk?

Even though you don’t have control of your genetic traits, you do over your lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, getting physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can help keep diabetes at bay and even prevent it. Ask your doctor if taking a drug called metformin could also help prevent you from getting diabetes.

Should you be tested?

Since prediabetes is not usually associated with symptoms, it can be hard to detect. However, if you have any of the risk factors, especially if you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about whether you should be screened. If you have prediabetes or diabetes, testing can help your doctor find it earlier, so you can start making changes sooner.

What tests are used?

A fasting blood glucose test is used to measure blood sugar and can help determine whether you have or are at risk for diabetes. If your blood sugar level suggests diabetes, your doctor may repeat the test to confirm the results. There are two other tests used to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes. Those tests are the A1C test and the two-hour oral glucose tolerance test. The A1C test serves as a measure of your average blood glucose level over the past two or three months. The two-hour oral glucose tolerance test gives your doctor an idea of how your body processes glucose.

Schedule a visit today

Make an appointment with your doctor to talk about whether a prediabetes screening is right for you. Preventive care, including physical exams, immunizations, cancer screenings and blood glucose screenings, is covered 100 percent when you use an in- network provider. There’s no cost to you for the visit, and it’s not subject to your annual plan deductible.

By Kristin Nelson, Contributing Writer


American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2018. Accessed: May 1, 2018.
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Diagnosis of diabetes and prediabetes. Accessed: May 1, 2018.
American Diabetes Association. Diagnosing Diabetes and Learning About Prediabetes. Accessed: May 1, 2018.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes. Accessed: May 1, 2018.

Last Updated July 10, 2018

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