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Pre-diabetes

Pre-diabetes is a condition where your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The condition has no signs or symptoms, which makes it difficult to detect.

If you have pre-diabetes, you will have one or both of the following conditions:

  • Impaired fasting glucose: This is when your fasting blood glucose level is higher than target levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
  • Impaired glucose tolerance: This is when your blood glucose level is higher than the target range two hours after an OGTT, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Your fasting blood glucose level may still be within target.

Pre-diabetes increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Read more in our fact sheet Understanding pre-diabetes.

How do I know if I have pre-diabetes?

To determine if you have this condition, your doctor will send you to have your blood glucose levels checked at a pathology lab.

Managing pre-diabetes

Pre-diabetes is managed by making healthy lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These include:

  • weight loss
  • regular physical activity
  • healthy eating
  • well-managed blood pressure and blood fats
  • quitting smoking.

Can I stop pre-diabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes?

There is strong evidence to show that people with pre-diabetes can delay or prevent the condition progressing to type 2 diabetes. This includes making healthy lifestyle changes and losing 5–10% of your body weight.

You are not eligible to register for the NDSS if you have pre-diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.