Pre-Diabetes and Insulin Resistance

Pre-Diabetes refers to abnormal blood sugar levels that are not yet in the range of diabetes. It is diagnoses when levels of fasting blood sugar or HbA1c (3 month marker of blood sugars) is high on a blood test. Sometimes an oral glucose tolerance test (where the child drinks a sugar drink and has blood sugar levels checked before and after) is ordered to make sure there is no diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is increased by genetics (family history of diabetes), diet and exercise, and extra weight. While pre-diabetes is a risk factor for development of Type 2 Diabetes this diagnosis does NOT mean your child will develop diabetes. In fact, pre-diabetes can be cured in most children with changes in diet and exercise.

Insulin resistance occurs when higher than normal insulin levels are produced to keep the blood sugar normal. High insulin can be measured in a fasting blood test, and can also show up on the body as darkening and thickening of the skin (often behind the neck or in the armpits) known as acanthosis nigricans.

Risk of Insulin resistance is also increased by genetics, diet and exercise, and extra weight. And again, changes to diet and increased exercise can cure insulin resistance in most children.

Sometimes medications are needed for Pre-Diabetes and Insulin Resistance if lifestyle changes are not sufficient.

The Healthy Weight Program can help manage your child’s Pre-diabetes or Insulin Resistance with our multi-disciplinary team of medical physicians, dietitians, exercise physiologists and psychologist. If, however, your child develops Type 2 Diabetes, they will be referred to CHOP’s Diabetes Center for Children for further management with specialists.