An estimated 2 million Australians are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes or have undiagnosed diabetes
Pre-diabetes occurs when your blood glucose levels are higher than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes has no signs or symptoms and is the result of developing insulin resistance, (when the body's insulin is not working effectively).
Risk factors for pre-diabetes are similar to those for type 2 diabetes. They include age, being overweight/obese, being physically inactive, high blood pressure, high blood lipids, a family history of type 2 diabetes, or heart disease. Also at risk of pre-diabetes are people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, from specific ethnic backgrounds such as the Pacific Islands, Asia, and the Indian sub-continent. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or women with a history of gestational diabetes are also at risk of pre-diabetes.
To find out if you are at risk, click here to take the test. If your score is between 6-11 (intermediate risk), talk to your GP about improving your lifestyle. If your score is 12 or greater (high risk), you may have pre-diabetes or undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Talk to your GP immediately to arrange a blood glucose test to determine your diabetes status.
Making positive lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes by up to 58%
You can prevent pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes! Knowing your risk early and embracing healthy lifestyle habits, can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Management of pre-diabetes requires the same lifestyle changes recommended for people with diagnosed type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, improving sleep, and stopping smoking.
Choose a wide variety of healthy, nutritious foods high in fibre, wholegrains, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and low in added sugar, salt, unhealthy fats (saturated fat), and alcohol. Drink plenty of water and avoid processed foods and drinks which tend to be high in fat, sugar, and salt.
Moving more and sitting less has many benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Regular physical activity helps insulin work more effectively and lowers your blood glucose. It is important to be physically active on most, or all, days of the week (approximately 30 minutes per day).
Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet and being physically active will help maintain a healthy weight.
Poor quality sleep disturbs the regulation of critical hormones i.e., insulin, cortisol, and adrenaline, that maintain healthy blood glucose and stress levels. Good sleeping habits are essential for managing your stress levels, and overall good emotional and physical health.
A weight loss of 5-7% of your body weight can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 57%
More than sixty percent of Australian adults are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of developing multiple chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes. Weight loss of as little as 5-7% of total body weight can halve this risk. Even better, the risk further decreases if a 5% reduction in body weight is maintained for at least three years. For every kilogram lost, there is a 16% reduction to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you need to lose weight, be mindful about doing enough exercise to burn more energy (kilojoules) than what you consume from the food you eat. Eating healthy foods in the right amount can help with feeling fuller for longer, and prevent the overconsumption kilojoules. Replacing processed and packaged foods and beverages with fresh foods and water, will reduce the amount of added sugar, salt, fat, and kilojoules you consume and is a great way to get started with a new healthy eating routine.
Pre-diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease which may lead to heart attack or stroke
Early detection and management of pre-diabetes has been shown to be vital in preventing complications such as cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease. It is important to have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly if you have pre-diabetes.
You can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by making positive, healthy lifestyle changes.
Healthy tips for cardiovascular health include a nutritious diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, improving sleep, and stopping smoking.
Choose a wide variety of healthy, nutritious foods high in fibre, wholegrains, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and low in added sugar, salt, unhealthy fats (saturated fat), and alcohol. Drink plenty of water and avoid processed foods and drinks which tend to be high in fat, sugar, and salt. Be physically active preferably most days of the week and accumulate at least 150 minutes per week (approximately 30 minutes per day for most days).
Maintain a healthy weight including a waist circumference of less than 94cm for men, and less than 80cm for women.
If you are overweight or obese, a weight loss of 5-7% of your total body weight has been found to have health benefits. Maintaining normal blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, managing stress, improving sleep, and limiting alcohol will also improve overall health.
Some Australians are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes
The risk of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes increases significantly for older people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people born in some overseas countries, and women with a history of gestational diabetes.
Older Australians aged 65 years and over are likely to experience multiple medical/ chronic conditions, and disability, placing them at higher risk of chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes.
People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds are almost four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. They are also diagnosed at a younger age and have a lower life expectancy than non-Indigenous Australians.
People born in Asia (including the Indian sub-continent), North Africa, Middle East, Oceania (excluding Australia), and southern and eastern Europe, are at increased of developing type 2 diabetes due to a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental risk factors.
Women who have a history of gestational diabetes have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 10-20 years after their child's birth. Their children also have an increased risk of developing diabetes as they grow older.