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  • Pre-diabetes

    Diabetes Ahead

    Pre-diabetes, also commonly referred to as borderline diabetes, is a metabolic condition and growing global problem that is closely tied to obesity.

    If undiagnosed or untreated, pre-diabetes almost always develops into type 2 diabetes; which whilst treatable is currently not fully reversible.

    The increasing number of new cases of pre-diabetes presents a global concern as it carries large scale implications towards the future burden on healthcare.

    A potential 670,000 New Zealanders have pre-diabetes. 18.6% of the population 15 years and over have pre-diabetes and the prevalence of diabetes is 7.0% (Coppell et al, 2013)

    What is pre-diabetes?

    Pre-diabetes is almost always a precursor to the development of type 2 diabetes. It is characterised by the presence of blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classed as diabetes, hence why it is often described as the “grey area” between normal blood sugar and diabetic levels.

    Pre-diabetes risk factors

    You should be tested for pre-diabetes if you:

    • Are overweight or obese
    • Have a sedentary lifestyle / are inactive.
    • Have a close relative (parent or sibling) who currently has or has had diabetes
    • Have high blood pressure, low HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) or high triglycerides
    • Are over the age of 45
    • Have given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds (4kg?)
    • While pre-diabetes may affect anyone, of any age, gender or racial type, some groups are genetically more prone.

    These include:

    • Maori/ Pacific
    • South Asian
    • Asian

    Symptoms

    Often, prediabetes has no signs or symptoms.

    However if symptoms do persist, they are similar to Type 2:

    • Feeling tired and lacking energy
    • Feeling thirsty
    • Going to the toilet often
    • Getting infections frequently
    • Getting infections which are hard to heal
    • Poor eyesight or blurred vision
    • Often feeling hungry
     
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