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Guide to Diabetes

 Being At Risk of Diabetes?

"Being at risk of diabetes" is a term used when your blood glucose have been confirmed as being higher than normal but NOT high enough to be classed as diabetes. This is determined by taking several blood tests which are described below.

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Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG)


If you have been told you have impaired fasting glucose it means that your blood glucose levels are above normal levels when you wake in the morning before you have eaten (fasting). Normal fasting blood sugars are below 6.1mmols/l.

If you have impaired fasting glucose (pre-diabetes) your levels are between 6.1-6.9 mmols/l (If your blood sugars are equal to or above 7.00 mmols/l this is diabetes although this test generally need to be repeated before the confirmation of diabetes.)


What is a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)?

A GTT involves drinking a sugary drink (Lucozade) after fasting from midnight the night before and then having your blood glucose levels measured to see how well your body is dealing with the sugar intake.
Before you drink the lucozade drink blood samples will be taken to check your blood sugar levels, how well your kidneys are working, your insulin levels and the level of fats in your blood (cholesterol). A finger prick blood test will also be taken which measures the amount of sugar in your blood. Once you have had the lucozade drink a second blood sample from your arm will be taken after 2 hours.


Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)

You may have been told that you have impaired glucose tolerance. This means that when you have been given a glucose load (usually a sugary drink) and had your blood sugar level taken both before and two hours after the drink your sugar level has been equal to or above 7.8mmol/l but below 11.0mmol/l at the two hour test. It means that when you have a sugary drink or foods your body is unable to processes it quickly enough and your blood glucose is still above normal two hours later. This also can be described as ‘pre-diabetes’.


What can I do to prevent being 'at risk of Diabetes' ?

Pre-diabetes occurs when the body either doesn’t use insulin efficiently (insulin resistance) or doesn’t produce enough insulin. Within the next 10 years many people with pre-diabetes will go on to develop diabetes, some will stay as having pre-diabetes some people will return to having normal glucose levels. Those who have stayed the same or returned to normal have done so through making lifestyle changes.

You can dramatically reduce your chances of developing diabetes by simple lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, eating a lower fat diet and becoming more active. In the future there may be the possibility of treating pre-diabetes with tablets for diabetes, however this is still being researched.

Download the Booklets Below


Pre-Diabetes Booklet

Leicestershire Diabetes Patient information leaflet Download Document

Pre-Diabetes Booklet- Print copy

Download and print  Download Document

Are you at risk of Diabetes Booklet - Prevention booklet

Information about preventing diabetes produced by the Diabetes Research team LDC Download Document