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What is prediabetes?

An introduction to prediabetes

What do you know about prediabetes? Understanding prediabetes is the first step to regaining your health. Prediabetes is an opportunity. If you've just been diagnosed with prediabetes, or have had it for years, you can take back control of your blood sugar level and your health.

Need to know

  • Prediabetes is a condition of high blood sugar (glucose).
  • The blood sugar level is higher than normal but not as high as in type 2 diabetes.
  • Prediabetes happens when the body’s sugar control system is no longer working properly.
  • Prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes.
  • You can choose to improve and even reverse prediabetes.

Prediabetes is an opportunity

Dr Campbell Murdoch

I like to think that a diagnosis of prediabetes is an opportunity. It might be the right time for someone to put their health first.

One of the first topics I discuss with my patients is what prediabetes is. People can only take charge of their health if they know what they are dealing with.

Prediabetes means the body can’t keep blood sugar at a normal level. The sugar level isn't quite as high as in type 2 diabetes, but it is higher than normal. The body isn't happy and if nothing changes it will likely get worse.

However, there is a lot of hope! A diagnosis of prediabetes may be the perfect reason to make some enjoyable lifestyle changes. These changes will improve health and potentially reverse prediabetes. Benefits can be noticed within a few weeks.

—Dr Campbell Murdoch

Prediabetes is a condition of high blood sugar

Prediabetes means the body’s blood sugar level has become higher than normal but it is not as high as in type 2 diabetes. The condition of prediabetes was first named by the American Diabetes Association in 1997. By naming prediabetes more attention can be given to preventing the harm it may cause and greater efforts can be made to stop it developing into type 2 diabetes.

The sugar in the blood is called glucose. To stay healthy the body needs to keep the blood glucose level under tight control.

A blood glucose level that is too low or too high can cause serious harm. To keep the blood glucose level at the right level the body uses a clever control system. When this system is working well the body can maintain better health.

However, certain lifestyles can break or overwhelm the blood glucose control system. This leads to prediabetes. What we eat and drink has the most impact. In addition, movement, sleep, and mindset have affect on our blood glucose control.

Once prediabetes has developed there is an increased risk of serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Fortunately, by taking the correct lifestyle actions the body can regain blood glucose control. It is possible to prevent prediabetes developing into type 2 diabetes. It is also possible for many people to reverse prediabetes and achieve normal blood glucose levels again.

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