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Pre-Diabetes

Overview

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

There are two conditions that fit into the pre-diabetes category:

  • Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG)
  • Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)

IFG or IGT are detected with the same Oral Glucose Tolerance Test that is used to diagnose diabetes.

Risk factors

The risk factors for pre-diabetes are the same as those for type 2 diabetes, price and include:

  • Being overweight-especially having excess weight around the waist.
  • Being physically inactive.
  • Having high triglycerides (bad cholesterol) and low HDL-C (good cholesterol) and/or high total cholesterol.
  • Having high blood pressure.
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes and/or heart disease.

Others at risk include:

  • Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (refer to PCOS and Diabetes information sheet).
  • Women who have had diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or given birth to a baby weighing 4.5 kgs or more.
  • People from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.
  • People from certain ethnic backgrounds such as the Pacific Islands.

To find out if you are at risk, take the Ausdrisk test.

Treatment

The goals of treatment are to help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and involve adopting healthy lifestyle changes and increasing physical activity to assist with weight management.

People with pre-diabetes are also at increased risk of heart disease, so controlling blood pressure and blood cholesterol is also important.

Does pre-diabetes mean type 2 diabetes?

Evidence shows that people with pre-diabetes are at high risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes. They can delay and reduce the risk of its development by adopting healthy lifestyle changes.

If you believe you are at risk, speak to your Doctor as soon as possible about having your blood glucose level checked. Early diagnosis of pre-diabetes increases the likelihood that you may be able to prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes.

You should also make some lifestyle changes - try to lose some weight, increase your level of physical activity and adopt a healthy eating plan. Make sure you discuss these changes with your Doctor and check whether you need to take any special precautions when altering your level of physical activity.

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The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government administered with the assistance of Diabetes Australia.

 
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