Prediabetes risk revealed in new figures.

Checking in on our health is so important. So many of the common conditions which go on to be serious and debilitating, if caught early, are easily managed through diet or lifestyle changes. And being aware of the different risks at every age can help you know what to be on the lookout for. 

Diabetes private blood tests

Sobering statistics revealed recently have highlighted that one in ten people with high blood sugar will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes is becoming a ticking time bomb, with hundreds of thousands of people set to be impacted annually, placing a huge strain on an already vulnerable healthcare system.

So, what is prediabetes? How serious is it and can it be prevented?

What is prediabetes?


Prediabetes is characterised by raised blood sugar that is close to, but not yet in, the diabetic range. It’s an indicator of future health problems, but it also, in itself, carries a range of health risks.

Those with prediabetic blood sugar levels are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes. Some even experience eye or kidney damage, which may be linked to excess fat, rather than blood sugar levels.


Does prediabetes always turn into diabetes?


While prediabetes doesn’t always develop into full diabetes, it’s estimated that people with the condition are up to fifteen times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes during their lifetime. Diabetes UK estimates that around 13.5 million people – a quarter of adults in the UK – fall into this category.


Does prediabetes have symptoms?


Because it’s symptomless, people with prediabetes don’t tend to notice a problem until the condition has tipped over into type 2 diabetes, which is why it’s so important to be aware of the risk factors and take steps to reduce them.


Does prediabetes only affect older people?

We may think of diabetes as a condition which affects older people. But, thanks to our diets and lifestyles, this is not the case.

It’s estimated that around 122,000 people under 40 in England and Wales have type 2 diabetes.

Can you prevent prediabetes?


By spotting prediabetes and taking steps to reduce the risks, it’s possible to prevent illness before it starts. But how can we do that with a condition which had no visible symptoms until it’s too late?

Fortunately, there are plenty of pre-emptive steps you can take, without the need for medication or treatments. Simple lifestyle adjustments can be enough to turn the tide of your health.

Check your weight and waist

By far, the biggest risk factor for prediabetes is high body fat. Fat which accumulates around the organs can cause problems with how cells respond to insulin, which in turn impacts blood sugar control.

Checking your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a good way to understand if this could be a risk factor for you. Those with a BMI of 30 or above are around 80 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy BMI.

Along with weight, waist size is another good factor to determine diabetes risk. Excess fat close to or in the organs, such as the liver, significantly disrupts insulin function.

To reduce the risk, men should have a waist measurement of less than 37 inches, while women should keep to 31½ inches.

Understand your family health history

For some people, their ethnic background or genes put them at higher risk.

People from South Asia, the Middle East and those with African and Caribbean heritage are thought to be more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes because of the way their bodies store and process fat.

Additionally, anyone whose mother, father or sibling has type 2 diabetes is also up to 200% more likely to develop it.

"With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, and appointments for non-urgent care more difficult to access, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health.”

Take a closer look with blood testing

With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, and appointments for non-urgent care more difficult to access, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health.

The HbA1c test is a simple way to understand your blood sugar levels, and in turn, your risk of prediabetes.  

The test measures levels of glycated haemoglobin – sugar that has stuck to red blood cells, which gives a good indication of average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months.

This test is available as a finger prick or vacutainer sample collection option. You can also choose to visit a BMI Hospital or have a nurse home visit.


A simple and convenient private blood test

We partner with Spire Healthcare to offer a professional phlebotomy service. This guarantees that your blood samples are taken and handled correctly and that your results are processed efficiently by clinical professionals. Our confidential blood tests are available at over thirty private clinics around the UK.

At your appointment, the friendly team will talk to you about your test, collect your blood sample and send it off for testing at an accredited partner laboratory. All you need to do is arrive for your appointment. We’ll take care of the test, and the rest.


Clear, accurate results

The time it takes to receive your results will depend on the type of test you have chosen. When they are ready, your results will be sent directly to you, via email, within the time specified. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of your results through the post, that can be arranged for you.

You can also choose the option of reported or unreported results. Reported results include information and comment from our GP which you may find helpful to discuss with your own consultant, or for your records.

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