Pre-diabetes is best thought of as a warning, a flag being raised to indicate, if lifestyle measures are not employed at this time, you are likely to progress to type 2 diabetes in the next 18 months.

Your body is struggling to deal with the level of sugar in your blood, this can be associated with being overweight and having too much fat around the pancreas and the liver.

You may be experiencing some symptoms associated with diabetes, which is what led to the blood test being taken.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • passing urine more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling thirsty all the time
  • feeling very tired
  • losing weight without trying to
  • itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • blurred vision

You’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • are over 40 (or 25 for south Asian people)
  • have a close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
  • are overweight or obese
  • are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK)

HbA1c is a measurement of your average blood glucose (sugar) level for the last 2-3 months.

Everyone who has an HbA1c level recorded between 42 and 47, or who has had previous gestational diabetes, should have an annual blood test to monitor their levels.  There is currently a big focus on those individuals who have blood tests within the pre-diabetic range, the aim being to reduce HbA1c and prevent type 2 diabetes, with its associated risks, from developing.

If you have had an HbA1c result recorded in the pre-diabetic range, 42-47, in the last 2 years, you can be enrolled in the preventative programme.

Your surgery can refer you, and you can also self refer by clicking on this link

Join the Programme – NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme