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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What exactly does prediabetic mean?

    My doctor told me I was prediabetic. Does this mean I will get diabetes? What preventative measures can I take?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

    Thanks

    I'm an Accredited Practising Dietitian with more than 30 years experience. Particular areas of interest and expertise are in Obesity & Weight Mgt, Type 2 ... View Profile

    Prediabetes are the stages prior to being diagnosed with Diabetes.  Prediabetic means you fall into the categories of either Impaired Fasting Glucose or Impaired Glucose Tolerance.  To put this in perspective, if you draw a line and with 4 squares.  The first being normal, the second - IFG, the 3rd - IGT, and the 4th - Diabetes. 

    The fact you know you have Prediabetes gives you a chance to make some changes in order to hopefully prevent getting Diabetes.

    What can you do?  Look at your lifestyle? 

    1. What is your weight and even more importantly your waist measurement.  Women < 80 cm, Men > 90 cm is considered healthy.

    2. Are you exercising regularly? And very importantly getting your heart rate up for a period of time, 5 - 6 days a week expecially if you have a sedentary job. Are you including some resistance type exercise?  If you require expert advice on exercise or need a program developed you may consider consulting an Exercise Physiologist or a good Personal Trainer. And always consult your Doctor to get the all clear before embarking on a new exercise regime.

    3. What is your diet like?  Are you following a Low GI eating plan and very importantly portion controlling your carbohydrates at each meal and snack.  Are you eating too much protein or not enough. Are you getting plenty of fresh veges and 2 - 3 pieces of fruit daily? Are you taking in too many calories to maintain a healthy weight?  If you need more help consult an expert, an Accredited Practising Dietitian.  Look up The Dietitian's Association of Australia to find one near you.

    4. Be proactive!  You can make a difference. Small changes all add up!

  • 1

    Agree

    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last ... View Profile

    Prediabetes is a condition that precedes the onset of type 2 diabetes. It is characterized by blood glucose levels that are elevated, though not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Doctors usually refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose.

    Diabetes develops very gradually, so when you’re in the prediabetes stage—when your blood glucose level is higher than it should be—you may not have any symptoms at all. You may, however, notice that:

    • you’re hungrier than normal
    • you’re losing weight, despite eating more
    • you’re thirstier than normal
    • you have to go to the bathroom more frequently
    • you’re more tired than usual

    All of those are typical symptoms associated with diabetes, so if you’re in the early stages of diabetes, you may notice them.     Causes and Risk Factors Prediabetes develops when your body begins to have trouble using the hormone insulin. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose—what your body uses for energy—into the cells via the bloodstream. In pre-diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it doesn’t use it well (that’s called insulin resistance).   If you don’t have enough insulin or if you’re insulin resistant, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps prediabetes.   Researchers aren’t sure what exactly causes the insulin process to go awry in some people. There are several risk factors, though, that make it more likely that you’ll develop pre-diabetes. These are the same risk factors related to the development of type 2 diabetes:

    • Weight: If you’re overweight (have a body mass index—a BMI—of higher than 25), you’re at a high risk for developing prediabetes. Especially if you carry a lot of extra weight in your abdomen, you may develop prediabetes. The extra fat cells can cause your body to become more insulin resistant.
    • Lack of physical activity: This often goes hand-in-hand with being overweight. If you aren’t physically active, you’re more likely to develop prediabetes.
    • Family history: Prediabetes has a hereditary factor. If someone in your close family has (or had) it, you are more likely to develop it.
    • Race/ethnicity: Certain ethnic groups are more likely to develop prediabetes, including African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans.
    • Age: The older you are, the more at risk you are for developing prediabetes. At age 45, your risk starts to rise, and after age 65, your risk increases exponentially.
    • Gestational diabetes: If you developed diabetes while you were pregnant, that increases your risk for developing prediabetes later on.
    • Other health problems: High blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol (the “bad” LDL cholesterol) increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

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