Your 'wake-up' call
For many, a Prediabetes diagnosis is a wake-up call; a reminder to make some lifestyle changes and kick some of those bad habits. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get access to advice, recipes, information and tips on how to improve your health, fitness and well being.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes, or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), is when the blood glucose levels within the body are higher than normal but are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Prediabetes is often referred to as 'Borderline Diabetes'. It is a reversible condition but, if not managed, can lead to Type 2 Diabetes which is a more serious illness.
There are several factors that can cause Prediabetes, including obesity, high blood pressure, age and a lack of physical activity.
With the rise in obesity in the UK, which is a key contributing factor, it is estimated that a third of adults in the UK have been diagnosed with Prediabetes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of Prediabetes?
Often there are no symptoms of Prediabetes. It is only when you have progressed from Prediabetes to Type 2 diabetes that you notice any symptoms.
However, if you are concerned about your Prediabetes risk, ensure you have regular check-ups with your doctor so that they can advise you on any changes you need to make to your lifestyle.
If you are between the ages of 40 and 74yrs, the NHS will provide you with a free health check every 5 years. Amongst other things, the health check with test for Prediabetes / diabetes.
What increases my risk?
Whilst there are contributing factors, they don’t mean you will also be diagnosed. If you are concerned, you can visit your GP. Contributing factors include:
- • A family history of diabetes
- • Age – if you are 45yrs or older
- • If you suffer from High blood pressure
- • If you are overweight with a BMI of 25+.
- • Your waist circumference is 40 inches or more (in men) and 35 inches or more (in women).
- • If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and have ow levels of physical activity
- • If you have polycystic ovary syndrome
- • If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant
- • If you gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- • If you are Afro-Caribbean, South Asian or Native American
What can I do to prevent/reverse Prediabetes?
The good news is that Prediabetes is reversible. It is never too late to make a change and simple changes to your health and lifestyle could mean that you can reverse your Prediabetes – and most certainly stop it from leading to Type 2 diabetes.
Diet and exercise are often the keys to improving your general health and most certainly influence Prediabetes. So, if you are concerned about your risk, try to:
- • Lose 5% of your body weight
- • Get active
- • Stop smoking
- • Reduce alcohol intake
What are the tests a doctor will perform for Prediabetes?
Prediabetes will be diagnosed by a doctor who will perform 2 tests:
1) HbA1c test
HbA1c is the medical term for glycated haemoglobin. In simple terms, the test is measuring the blood sugar levels over a period of weeks/months. The higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
2) Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
This is a blood test, taken from the patient’s arm. It usually takes place in the morning as it allows the body a period of fasting overnight. It measures the amount of glucose in the blood, after the body has fasted. Depending on the levels measured, they will be able to determine your diagnosis.
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