Pre-diabetes: Are you at risk?
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Why should you be concerned about pre-diabetes?Left unmanaged, pre-diabetes can develop into Type 2 diabetes within five to ten years, and this is the biggest risk. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that nearly 950 000 Australians aged 25 or above had diabetes in 1999-2000. The bad news is the trend is an upwards one, with predictions by Diabetes Australia that by year 2010, there will be 1.8 million cases of diabetes in Australia.
The best way to put the brakes on these dramatic figures is through the early diagnosis and treatment of those at risk for pre-diabetes. Studies in diabetes prevention have shown that if people are diagnosed and treated for pre-diabetes, their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes decrease dramatically. For some people with pre-diabetes, intervention can actually turn back the clock and return elevated blood glucose levels to the normal range. That's why it's so important to get checked out if you think you are at risk.
Testing and diagnosis
The FPG test will show three possible diagnoses:
1.Diabetes unlikely – if you have a reading of less than 5.5 millimoles of glucose per litre of blood (mmol/l);
2.Pre-diabetes – between 5.5 mmol/l and 6.9 mmol/l;
3.Type 2 diabetes – 7mmol/l or more.
If your FPG test shows a reading of between 5.5 and 6.9mmol/l, your doctor will perform a further test, an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): You will be given a glucose-rich drink and two hours afterwards, the change in your glucose level will be measured.
If either of the glucose tests indicate you have diabetes, and you didn't show symptoms of diabetes before the test, your doctor will perform a confirmation test on a separate day.
Should you take the test?
-have high blood pressure (hypertension), or
-have a family history of diabetes
it's recommended you have your blood glucose level checked every three years.
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