WHAT IS PRE-DIABETES?
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PRE-DIABETES?
Many people have pre-diabetes but are completely unaware of it. This is because the condition often develops gradually without any warning signs or symptoms. In many cases, the sufferer only learns of their borderline diabetic state once the symptoms of type 2 diabetes start to appear. Therefore, being aware of the risk factors is essential.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR PRE-DIABETES?
You should be tested for pre-diabetes if you:
- Are overweight or obese
- Have a close relative (parent or sibling) who currently has or has had diabetes
- Have high blood pressure, low HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) or high triglycerides.
- Are over the age of 40
- Have given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds
- South Asian
- Native American
TESTING FOR PRE-DIABETES
Either a fasting plasma glucose test or an HbA1c test may be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.
The following results indicate the presence of pre-diabetes:
- Fasting plasma glucose: 5.5 mmol/L to 6.9 mmol/L
- HbA1c: 42 to 47 mmol/mol (6.0 to 6.4%)
If your results are above the upper limits for prediabetes, your GP may either diagnose you with type 2 diabetes or take another test in the near future to confirm whether you have diabetes. If you have symptoms of diabetes but have an HbA1c of below 42 mmol/mol (6.0%), you may be given an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, your doctor should clearly set out the steps you need to take to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
CAN I STOP PREDIABETES DEVELOPING INTO TYPE 2 DIABETES?
The good news is that cases of prediabetes that are identified early on can be reversed, preventing them from progressing into full-blown type 2 diabetes. Each year in the UK, 5% to 10% of people diagnosed with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes.The two principle factors for consideration are:
- Making changes to your diet and
- Appropriate physical exercise to your lifestyle
By making these changes, blood sugar levels can be returned to normal.
In fact, the recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program study conclusively showed that people with borderline diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making dietary changes and increasing their level of physical activity.