You have recently been given a new diagnosis of Pre-diabetes based on your HBA1c blood test.
What does this mean?
Pre-diabetes is where your blood sugars are above what is considered the normal range but lower than the Diabetes range.
HBA1c is a blood test which measures the glucose (sugar) that is attached to the red blood cells. Because red blood cells survive for three months, the HBA1c gives us a good idea of what your blood sugar control has been like over a three-month period, so we cannot blame the raised blood sugars on a recent period of overeating.
- HBA1c of 42 to 47 puts you in the Pre-diabetes range.
- HBa1c of 48 and above puts you in the Diabetic range.
Being Pre-diabetic means that you are insulin resistant and are likely to progress to develop Diabetes over the following years if no significant lifestyle changes are made.
Is this bad news?
- Not at all!
- By identifying that you are at risk of Diabetes, you now have the opportunity to make lifestyle changes which can prevent you from progressing to developing Diabetes.
- Through lifestyle changes, we are observing that many patients are actually getting their blood sugar levels back into the normal range and also achieving weight loss.
What would these lifestyle changes involve?
- We generally recommend reducing or cutting out as much as possible consumption of sugar and refined processed carbohydrates (which break down to sugar in the body – foods like bread, pasta, rice, cereals etc) – this in essence is a Real Food lifestyle.
- Addressing movement, sleep and stress management are also key areas that are equally important
- Please book a double appointment with the Diabetes nurse at the practice anytime in the next six weeks who will give you information and support on making these changes.
- We also run group sessions on a Monday evening at the Aspen Centre, Horton Road to explain the science behind what is proposed and how you might approach making these changes. These sessions are titled Eat Real Food and are meant to be informal and educational.
- If this programme is not for you, there is also the National Diabetes Prevention Programme that the Diabetes Nurse can refer you to and these courses are also held locally.
- The important thing is to take action and make this an opportunity to make changes to prevent developing Diabetes.
What if I am frail and elderly?
- It usually takes several years to progress from Pre-diabetes to Diabetes.
- If you are aged 80 years and over, you probably do not need to make significant changes to your lifestyle unless you wish to.
- However, if you wish to get support in making lifestyle changes, please do book a double appointment with the Diabetes Nurse at the practice anytime in the next six weeks.
Dr Kuok, Dr Hodges and Dr Wilson