Before most people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they have pre-diabetes – a condition in which the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes.
Another name for this condition is impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose.
When someone is pre-diabetic, it is possible that some damage may already have been done to the heart and the circulatory system. In fact, people with pre-diabetes have a 1.5 times greater risk for cardiovascular disease than people with normal blood glucose levels.
The good news is that a serious effort to control blood glucose levels at this point, could delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes completely in 58 percent of people diagnosed with this condition.
The onset of diabetes can be prevented or delayed by lifestyle changes.
The major portion of the advice given to people in this position is in connection with diet and exercise. A healthy, low sugar and low fat diet in conjunction with regular exercise is recommended. By doing this, their blood glucose levels can return to normal.
For more information on care and support of diabetes visit Diabetes South Africa or phone them on 086 111 3913.
- (Diabetes SA/Health24, updated May 2009)