Diabetes > Diabetes Mellitus > Pre-Diabetes

What is Pre-Diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a state that usually precedes Type 2 diabetes. People with pre-diabetes usually have a higher than normal blood sugar level, that is currently too low to be diagnosed as diabetes. It is sometimes referred to as Borderline Diabetes.

It can develop further and become Type 2 Diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is a crucial time, as it can often still be treated, and the development of Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented or at least delayed.

Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes

Pre-Diabetes can sometimes present itself with low intensity version of the symptoms of regular diabetes, namely Polydipsia, Polyuria and Polyphagia. However, Pre-Diabetes may not manifest any noticeable symptoms at all, until it becomes fully fledged Type 2 diabetes.

Therefore pre-diabetes is very tricky to notice, so it is advisable to see your doctor about being tested if you have any of the risk factors that increase chances of developing pre-diabetes.

Factors that Increase the Risk of Pre-Diabetes

As with all forms of diabetes, some people are more at risk of developing it than others. If you are worried and fit into one or several of the factors below, you may consider seeing your doctor about having a Pre-Diabetes test.

People are more at risk if they:

  • Are over the age of 45
  • Are overweight, having a BMI of over 25
  • Have a close relative such as a parent or a sibling with Type 2 Diabetes
  • Have suffered from gestational diabetes or had a baby over 9 pounds
  • Have suffered a cardiovascular disease or condition
  • Are of a high risk ethnicity (African-Caribbean, African or South Asian)
  • Are particularly physically inactive.
  • Are experiencing Polydipsia, Polyuria or Polyphagia

Pre-Diabetes Testing

There are several tests to determine the presence of Pre-Diabetes, including some that are used during the treatment of regular diabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance test (OGTT)

In this test, the patient is given a glucose drink and then their blood glucose level is tested periodically over the next few hours. This gives a representation of how their body reacts to an influx of sugar into the bloodstream.

Glycated Haemoglobin Test (HbA1c test)

This test checks for the amount of haemoglobin in your blood that has bonded with glucose. This occurs naturally, but more will occur if there is a long period of high blood sugar levels. It gives an indication of the average blood sugar level over the last three or so months.

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG)

This test requires an 8-hour fast before a blood sample is taken and tested for blood sugar levels. It gives an idea of the rate at which glucose is metabolized in the body.

Curing Pre-Diabetes and Preventing Type 2

Type 2 Diabetes is treated with careful diet and exercise, unlike Type 1, which requires injections and medication. Like the Type 2 it can develop into, pre-diabetes can also be treated by diet and exercise.

A good and healthy lifestyle can delay the development into Type 2 and possibly prevent it altogether. By losing weight, becoming more active and eating healthier foods, not only could Type 2 diabetes be prevented, but it will also make you healthier in many aspects of your being.

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