We've all heard of diabetes, a health condition caused or developed due to insulin levels and the bodies reaction to them. But before you develop diabetes, you first develop prediabetes. The difference with prediabetes is that it can be reversed or prevented, but it isn't easy to see the signs.


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What Is Prediabetes?

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Prediabetes, or impaired glucose tolerance, is where a person's insulin levels are high due to insulin resistance, but their ability to handle glucose is low. This combination causes a person's blood glucose levels to be higher than average but not quite in the diabetes diagnosis range. This means that it is possible to prevent prediabetes from becoming full diabetes, but the symptoms are harder to spot than those of diabetes.

The symptoms can include weight gain, increased thirst, blurry vision, fatigue and an increased need to pee. Unfortunately, all of these are things you maybe wouldn't notice as being an indication that something is wrong. This means that by the time it has become full diabetes, it's too late to do anything about it.

Who Is Most At Risk?

As people's diets become more and more unhealthy, the risk of developing diabetes is spreading to people that wouldn't usually be at risk. Saying that those most at risk of developing prediabetes are:

  • Anyone around or over the age of 45
  • Have a waist size of 35 inches or more
  • If your diet contains a lot of red and processed meat
  • You consume a large amount of sugary drinks
  • If you don't eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, nuts or whole grains
  • Anyone who is African American, Native American, Latino or Pacific Islander
  • Are overweight or obese, and in particular if this extra weight is around your middle
  • Don't exercise
  • Have high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol
  • Had gestational diabetes
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • If you suffer from a sleep problem such as sleep apnea

How Can It Be Prevented or Reversed?

Whilst prediabetes can be harder to notice; it can be reversed or prevented if you keep an eye out for it. Controlling your weight and keeping at a healthy level for your age, height and fitness level. Exercising more will help with this and keep you healthier. The NHS recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, high in fruit and vegetables, whole grains and fish, and keeping sugar and carbohydrates to a minimum. Finally, it is advised that you keep alcohol consumption to a minimum (no more than 14 units a week). This can cause weight gain and can increase blood levels of triglycerides.

Prediabetes can be prevented or reversed, so make sure to keep an eye out for small changes in your daily life to make sure you catch it before it becomes diabetes. Of course, that doesn't mean we can't treat ourselves to sugar and carbs, but it's essential to keep unhealthy foods to a minimum and keep exercising as much as you can.

Find out how exercise can affect diabetes and help manage the symptoms.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.