Pre-diabetes

For every person diagnosed with diabetes, another goes undiagnosed.

Pre-diabetes occurs when your blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes – it is the result of your body’s insulin not working effectively. The majority of people diagnosed with pre-diabetes can manage their condition and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by leading a healthy lifestyle.

The condition is also known as Impaired Glucose Tolerance, Impaired Fasting Glucose or insulin resistance.

Am I at risk of pre-diabetes?

  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Does someone in your family have type 2 diabetes?

You could be at risk of developing
type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes

Risk factors for developing pre-diabetes

  • I have a family history of type 2 diabetes and/or heart disease
  • I lead a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle
  • I have high blood pressure
  • I have high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol and or high total cholesterol
  • I am overweight – risk is further increased for men with a waist circumference of more than 94cm and women with a waist circumference of more than 80cm
  • I have heart disease or have had a heart attack
  • I had diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a big baby (more than 4.5kg)
  • I have polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • I am of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Island, Asian and/or Indian heritage

If you answered yes to one or more of the following then you are at risk of type 2 diabetes and it’s important to talk to your doctor about it at your next visit. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle.

To learn more about your risks and what you can do about it please see the pre-diabetes fact sheet.

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Diagnosis

Generally your doctor will ask you to have an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), which is performed at a pathology laboratory and involved a blood sample being taken before and two hours after a glucose drink is consumed.

Statistics

Approximately 2 million Australians are thought to have pre-diabetes and if left untreated may develop type 2 diabetes in the next 5 to 10 years.

Pre diabetes can affect your heart and blood vessels and ultimately increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Management

The steps taken to treat a pre-diabetes condition are the same as the steps taken to prevent it. This is done by making lifestyle changes to include regular physical activity and healthy eating.