Pre-Diabetes FAQs

Prediabetes FAQs: frequently asked questions
Prediabetes frequently asked questions

Pre-diabetes, if it goes undiagnosed, can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. These are the most common questions asked about pre-diabetes.

How is pre-diabetes different to type 2 diabetes?

Pre-diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels exceed normal levels but do not climb high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes.

If pre-diabetes is left untreated it will quickly develop into type 2 diabetes, usually in less than ten years.

Is pre-diabetes the same thing as Impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose?

Yes, although this depends on which test is used to diagnose the condition.

Is pre-diabetes the same thing as metabolic syndrome or syndrome X?

Pre-diabetes shares a number of factors with metabolic syndrome and syndrome x, and if unchecked can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Why is this condition called pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes used to be called IGT/IFG, but the term pre-diabetes makes it easier to understand.

Furthermore, pre-diabetes implies an impending risk that should be acted upon.

At the pre-diabetic stage type 2 diabetes can still be prevented or delayed.

How would I know if I have pre-diabetes?

The two types of tests for pre-diabetes can establish whether you are suffering from the condition. Doctors will typically use either the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) or the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

These tests require the patient to fast overnight.

What do you need to score on the FPG test to be diagnosed with pre-diabetes?

A normal fasting blood glucose level is below 100 mg/dl - between 100 and 125 mg/dl a person has pre-diabetes. If the blood glucose level rises to 126 mg/dl or above, a person has diabetes.

What do you need to score on the OGTT test to be diagnosed with pre-diabetes?

When it comes to the OGTT test, a person's blood glucose is measured after a fast and 2 hours after a drink rich in glucose.

Normal levels are under 140 mg/dl 2 hours after the drink. 140 to 199 mg/dl 2 hours after the drink means that the person being tested has pre-diabetes. If the 2-hour blood glucose reaches 200 mg/dl or exceeds it, the person has diabetes.

Why is it essential to be diagnosed if I think I might have pre-diabetes?

It could be possible to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes if you find out about your pre-diabetes early enough.

Research indicates that people who have pre-diabetes can delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes by almost 60 per cent with adjustments to diet and exercise.

Reducing weight by ten per cent, and partaking in modest physical activity for 30 minutes daily, could reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Will insurance cover things like testing and treatment?

This depends on your insurance policy.

How is pre-diabetes treated?

To treat pre-diabetes, it is necessary to lose a modest amount of weight (approximately 5-10 per cent of total body weight.) This can be achieved through diet and modest exercise. Any weight loss can make a huge difference. Having pre-diabetes increases the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Who should be tested for pre-diabetes?

Some people will be face an increased likelihood of having pre-diabetes. For instance, if you are overweight and aged 45 or older. Other risk factors can include high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, a family history of diabetes or gestational diabetes. Some ethnic groups are at a higher risk of diabetes.

When should I be tested?

You should be tested every three years, and if you have pre-diabetes you should be checked for type 2 diabetes at least annually.

Is it possible to have pre-diabetes and be unaware of it?

Yes. Some people who have pre-diabetes exhibit hardly any symptoms. Even diabetic people may not be aware of their condition. Type 2 diabetes symptoms include blurred vision, thirst, frequent need to pee, and tiredness.