If you have pre-diabetes, it means you have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If left undiagnosed and untreated, pre-diabetes can become type 2 diabetes within a decade. Both of these conditions can be prevented however, by adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.
In a way, you could say pre-diabetes means you have signs that you might become diabetic soon, unless you make the necessary lifestyle changes.
It’s a wake-up call!
How can I find out if I have pre-diabetes?
If you think you’re at risk, make an appointment to see your doctor, they’ll be able to run the necessary blood tests to check for pre–diabetes. The most common tests for this are:
- The FPG (fasting plasma glucose test): You’ll need to fast overnight for this test, which generally means no eating past 10pm the night before.
- The OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test): This also requires fasting overnight before the test
- The glycohemoglobin A1c test: This doesn’t require fasting
How do I know if I’m at risk?
Anyone who is aged 45 and older, and overweight, should be tested regularly. If you’re younger than 45, overweight and have any of the risk factors, then you should also make an appointment to get screened:
- Don’t exercise regularly
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a child weighing more than 4kg
- Have high blood pressure
- Have an HDL (“good”) cholesterol level of 35 mg/dl or lower, and/or triglyceride level of 250 mg/dl or higher
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome
- Have previously been identified as having IFG (impaired fasting glucose) or IGT (impaired glucose tolerance)
- Have a history of vascular disease
The good news, people who’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes can do a lot to delay or even prevent diabetes. One study showed that losing just 5-7% of your bodyweight if you’re overweight, and exercising 3-5 times a week can lower a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly 60%.
If you think you might be at risk of pre-diabetes, and want to find out more about the condition and how you can prevent it, why not speak to one of our doctors right now – they’re online and waiting to answer your questions. Get Hello Doctor NOW, you can start speaking to a doctor right away!
Questions to ask your doctor if you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes
- What tests will you do to confirm the diagnosis?
- Do I need to do anything special to prepare for the test(s), for example fast?
- If I have pre-diabetes, will I get diabetes?
- What can I do to prevent diabetes if I have pre-diabetes?
- My father has diabetes. Should I be screened for pre-diabetes on a regular basis?
- I have diabetes. Should I have my children screened for pre-diabetes?
- I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant, should I be screened for pre-diabetes regularly?
- Are there any foods I should eat that will help me to avoid pre-diabetes or diabetes?
- Should I speak with a Nutritionist or Dietician about changing my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight? If so, how much?
- What other lifestyle changes do I need to make?
- Will the condition resolve itself if I don’t change anything?