‘Pre’ diabetes? What is this?
Also known as impaired glucose tolerance, if someone is diagnosed with prediabetes it means they have an increase of sugars in the blood (hyperglycaemia) and their body doesn’t have the ability to deal with the excess blood sugar (insulin resistance). This can be after fasting or after eating. Impaired Glucose tolerance is considered to be a stage in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Shocking Statistic: 1 in every 2 people have prediabetes in the UK.
- A first-degree relative with diabetes.
- Ethnicity: South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean and black African.
- Increasing age.
- The area where someone lives – lower-income groups.
- Patients with impaired glucose tolerance usually have no symptoms.
- Risk for cardiovascular disease may be present, even with a small rise in blood sugars. They include hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, dyslipidaemia (high cholesterol etc), and macrovascular disease, such as stroke, coronary disease or peripheral vascular disease.
Testing for prediabetes
Either a fasting plasma glucose test or an HbA1c test may be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
The following results indicate the presence of prediabetes:
- Fasting plasma glucose: 6.0 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 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?
YES!!! 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 principal 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.
At 121 Dietitian we help people daily with improving their health and well-being. If you have been diagnosed by your GP with prediabetes then please do not hesitate to email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 07717392306 to ensure you do not go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
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