• Talk show host and singer Kelly Clarkson is talking about being diagnosed with prediabetes.
  • Prediabetes indicates that your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • With prediabetes, sugar builds up in the bloodstream instead of being used as an energy source for cells.

Kelly Clarkson revealed that she was diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition characterized by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, during an episode of her talk show that aired January 29.

The singer, 41, admitted the news wasn’t entirely unexpected as her blood sugar levels had increased in recent years.
“I wasn’t shocked. I was a tiny bit overweight. So, yeah, but I wasn’t shocked by it. But they did. They were like, ‘You’re prediabetic. You’re right on the borderline.’ And I was like, ‘But I’m not there yet.’ And then I waited two years and then did, however, move into the — I was like, ‘OK, I’ll do something about it,” Clarkson said.

Clarkson previously told PEOPLE in January she was focused on losing weight by eating a healthier diet.

Though prediabetes often doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, it’s crucial to get tested if you have risk factors and get diagnosed early so you can take steps to reverse the condition and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

“Prediabetes doesn’t have to be a lifelong sentence. It is possible to put prediabetes into remission, and a diagnosis of prediabetes doesn’t mean you will definitely go on to develop diabetes someday,” Dr. Nate Wood, an internal medicine, obesity medicine, and primary care physician and an instructor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

Prediabetes indicates that your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes, a chronic condition where blood sugar levels are abnormally elevated.

A healthy fasting blood sugar level is 99 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or lower.

Prediabetic blood sugar levels hover between 100 and 125 mg/dL, and blood sugar levels measure at 126 mg/dL or higher in people with type 2 diabetes.

With prediabetes, sugar builds up in the bloodstream instead of being used as an energy source for cells.

There are multiple risk factors that lead to prediabetes, including excess weight, high cholesterol and blood pressure, a family history of diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle.

“Prediabetes can run in families, and sometimes you can’t outrun it,” said Wood.

“But our lifestyle also plays a big role: what we eat, how we sleep, our stress levels, and our exercise habits are all important factors,” Wood added.

People older than 35 along with African American, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American individuals have an increased risk of developing prediabetes, too.

People with prediabetes commonly have no noticeable symptoms, although some may develop fatigue, blurry vision, frequent urination, and increased thirst and hunger.

“According to the CDC, about 98 million adults have pre-diabetes and 8 out of 10 patients don’t know they have it,” Dr. Jorge Moreno, a general internal medicine and obesity medicine doctor at Yale Medicine and assistant professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine

The condition can be diagnosed via quick blood tests, and anyone with the above risk factors should consider getting tested, he recommended.

The blood tests show doctors how well insulin, a hormone that converts sugar into energy, is working, if enough is being secreted by the pancreas, and whether the body is becoming resistant to insulin, says Moreno.

Left untreated, prediabetes can snowball and lead to diabetes, a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.

People with prediabetes also have a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke, suggests.

The amount of time it takes for prediabetes to turn into diabetes varies from person to person.

“Some people will go on to develop diabetes quickly. Some people will develop diabetes after a number of years or even decades. Some will never develop diabetes at all and just remain in the ‘prediabetes’ range,” says Wood.

Prediabetes is reversible and many people with prediabetes can substantially lower their risk of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle changes.

Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising regularly are the most effective ways to manage prediabetes.

According to Moreno, losing 5 to 10% of one’s body weight can significantly improve the course of prediabetes.

It’s unclear if eating a lot of meat contributes to prediabetes, according to Wood, however, eating too much meat, in general, can lead to weight gain, which increases your risk.

Wood coaches his patients with prediabetes to adhere to a plant-based diet that includes fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

He also recommends avoiding simple sugars, like fruit juices, sodas, and refined grains, such as bread, tortillas, pasta, rice, and chips.

Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day for at least five days a week.

Exercise helps decrease blood sugar levels and promotes muscles to absorb more glucose from the blood stream, Moreno explained.

Limiting alcohol intake, cutting out smoking, managing stress levels, getting adequate sleep, and staying social with friends and family can be help as well.

Some people with prediabetes may benefit from a medication called metformin, a pill used to treat high blood sugar levels.

“When someone is diagnosed with pre-diabetes, it is a moment to act, and it is still possible to prevent diabetes from developing,” Moreno said.

Kelly Clarkson revealed that she was diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition characterized by higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, during an episode of her talk show. The singer wasn’t shocked because her blood sugar levels had increased in recent years. Though prediabetes often doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms, it’s crucial to get tested if you have risk factors, such as excess weight and a family history of diabetes, and get diagnosed early so you can take steps to reverse the condition and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.