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What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is when your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Often with pre-diabetes you will have no clear symptoms; however people with this condition have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, increased activity and losing weight, approximately one in three people with pre-diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

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Why it is important to manage pre-diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes consider it a timely warning as you risk progressing to type 2 diabetes. Working together with your healthcare professional, there are lots of things you can do to improve your health, but you need to start now. This includes lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, regular physical activity and losing weight if needed.


What is HbA1c?

The HbA1c test is a measure of an average blood glucose (average blood sugar) level over the past few months and can be used as an indicator of your diabetes control. Inside the body the glucose (sugar) sticks to part of the red blood cells called haemoglobin – haemoglobin is what gives blood cells their red colour.

This sugar-haemoglobin combination is called HbA1c. Once the glucose becomes ‘stuck’ to the red blood cell it stays stuck until the red blood cell dies. This takes about three months. As red blood cells die, new ones are produced. If the new red blood cells don’t end up with glucose stuck to them, because of better blood glucose control, then the overall HbA1c will decrease.

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Understanding the diabetes language

If you have developed pre-diabetes, the medical terms used to describe the condition may seem confusing and overwhelming.

Click on the link below to see a list of commonly used diabetes words and their meaning. This may help you better understanding the information given to you and mean you can have more effective conversations with your health care professional.

Diabetes terms