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What is Prediabetes or borderline Diabetes?

Prediabetes, which is commonly known as borderline diabetes is a condition when there is impaired glucose tolerance, i.e. there are no symptoms of diabetes but blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Prediabetes can also increase the risk for heart disease and other complications, so it is important to learn about this condition so that early action can be taken.

Symptoms of Prediabetes

Prediabetes often develops gradually without any warning signs or symptoms, many people are completely unaware of it. In many cases, a person learns about only learns of their borderline diabetic state once the symptoms of type 2 diabetes start to appear. Therefore, it is more important to learn about the risk factors which can give rise to prediabetes state and ultimately to type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Risk factors for prediabetes

  • Obesity

  • Family History of Diabetes: Close relative (parent or sibling) who currently has or has had diabetes

  • High blood pressure, low HDL ('good' cholesterol) or high triglycerides

  • Age over 40

  • Given birth to a baby who weighed > 4.5 kg

If any of the condition are present in a person, he/she should get tested for prediabetes.

While pre-diabetes may affect anyone, of any age, gender or racial type, some groups are genetically more prone. These include:

  • Afro-Caribbean

  • South Asian

  • Native American

Testing for prediabetes

  • Fasting plasma glucose test or an HbA1c test cab be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.


  • Fasting plasma glucose: 5.5 mmol/L to 6.9 mmol/L

  • HbA1c: 42 to 47 mmol/mol (6.0 to 6.4%)

How to stop prediabetes developing into type 2 diabetes?

The two principle factors for consideration are:

  • Diet Modification

  • Appropriate physical exercise

By making these changes, blood sugar levels can be returned to normal.

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