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Updated on April 11, 2013

Prediabetes is a state where diabetes can develop. Prediabetes refers to people who have IFG (impaired fasting glucose), IGT(impaired glucose tolerance), or both.

Having prediabetes raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes 3 to 10-fold on average and so it is better for the general health of the population if the existence of prediabetes can be determined early.

By the time diabetes has actually developed, damage has already been done to many organs in the body, with specific reference to the eyes and blood vessels.

The complications of diabetes include heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease as welll as microvascular diseases that include

  • retinopathy - disease of the eye retina
  • neuropathy - disease of sensory nervous system
  • microalbuminuria - small amounts of albumin (protein) in the urine which points to kidney disease

It seems there is no safe level of blood glucose as even the smallest quantities are responsible for causing damage, especially cardiovascular disease.

diabetes risk factors
diabetes risk factors
diabetes symptoms
diabetes symptoms

A worldwide pandemic of diabetes and obesity is occurring just now, and a new case of adult onset type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed every 20 minutes.

Currently 24.1 million people in the USA alone suffer from type 2 diabetes (according to wikipedia there were 18 million cases in 2002), with another 57 million people with prediabetes, some of whom are already showing signs of microvascular changes caused by actual diabetes.

A horrendous 25% of diabetes sufferers do not know they have diabetes.

Worldwide, there are an estimated 314 million people with prediabetes and this figure is projected to rise to 418 million by 2025.

Early diagnosis and treatment of prediabetes can reduce or delay the onset of actual diabetes.

Studies have shown that the damage and adverse consequences of high blood glucose levels occur at much lower glucose levels that those which define diabetes.

Increasingly, adolescents are suffering from type 2 diabetes. It is rare in children under 10.

People who should be screened because they are considered to be at high risk of developing diabetes include those with:

  • a family history of diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • obesity, especially around the middle
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • non-white ancestry
  • previously identified IFG, IGT and/or metabolic syndrome
  • hypertension
  • an increased levels of triglycerides, low concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or both
  • history of gestational diabetes
  • delivery of a baby weighing more than 9 lbs (4kgs)
  • PCOS (poly cystic ovarian disease)
  • those receiving antipsychotic therapy for schizophrenia and severe bipolar disease.

Treatment for prediabetes includes a complete lifestyle change that could mean

If this lifstyle change is carried out, and weight loss is not only achieved but maintained, there is every chance that your body could return to its normal state.

Left untreated, there is a 70% chance that diabetes or the complications of diabetes will follow inside a 6 year period of initial diagnosis.

Unfortunately at the present time most medical insurance companies will not pay for lifestyle treatment to prevent diabetes developing, nor has the US Food and Drug Administration approved any drugs for use in the treatment of either IFG or IGT.

Diabetes kills.

As many as 1:10 deaths every year are due to the complications of diabetes. Middle aged people with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die than people of similar age with normal blood glucose levels.

While it is reckoned that up to another 25% on top of the world's known diabetic population have undiagnosed diabetes, no-one knows the true figure of people having prediabetes.

There are no signs or symptoms. Only blood testing by your doctor can tell you if you are at risk.

The most common signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus (type 2) include:

  • constant hunger - even though you are well fed
  • fluctuations in weight - sudden loss or gain
  • blurred vision or deterioration of normal vision
  • slow healing of cuts and bruises
  • weakness, fatigue, unexplained aches and pains like flu
  • tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • gum or skin infections that won't clear up
  • recurring bladder or genital infections
  • thirst


diabetes awareness
diabetes awareness


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    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for that important bit of info. Hopefully anyone who needs to know will read your comment :)

    • dr stephen chan profile image

      dr stephen chan 

      6 years ago from U.S.A

      Hi there, great hub .. I just thought I would point out that the most common reason for adult males being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is actually ED, and I didn't see that on your list of symptoms.

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 

      8 years ago from Florida

      The idea of Metformin's connection to cancer is a new discovery. I first read about it in early September. If you are interested, try googling it. My dr. said it wouldn't hurt and might be worth a try. (She googled it first.)

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      Really? I didn't know Metformin can prevent cancer.They used Metformin back in the 70s too when I was nursing. It was always thought (then) that is was better to be diet controlled only, as yours seem to be, than having to be dependent on medication. But hey, if your doctor agrees, go for it! You take care :)

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Having been recently diagnosed as a "diabetic under control," I found this hub interesting and informative. I was not prescribed any medicine, but after reading that the diabetic drug "Metformin" could prevent cancer, I got my dr. to prescribe it.

    • quuenieproac profile image


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Good writing, info well arranged. Creates awareness.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • authorfriendly profile image


      8 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Important for people to consider, thanks for the information

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm sending this on to my brother. Great Hub!

    • fucsia profile image


      8 years ago

      Very informative and well writen!

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 

      8 years ago from the Web

      Very informative hub lady! Rated useful :)


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