Pre-diabetes is a term used to describe people who are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than usual but not yet high enough for you to be given a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Knowing that you are pre-diabetic is the first step to being able to do something about it and there are lots of things you can do to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes doesn’t have any symptoms. If you start to have any symptoms it means that you have probably already developed Type 2 diabetes.

Being pre-diabetic doesn’t mean you will definitely develop Type 2 diabetes, but it is a warning that now is the time to start making healthy changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. This includes:

Managing your weight – If you are overweight and at high risk of Type 2 diabetes, losing just 5% of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk. There are lots of ways you can lose weight and it’s about finding what works best for you. Making healthier food choices and being more active are both positive ways to start (see Losing Weight).

Eat a healthy, balanced diet – The food and drink we have in our overall diet is linked to your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. To reduce your risk, aim to eat more of the foods like fruit and veg, wholegrains and unsweetened drinks. Cut down on red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates, sugar sweetened drinks and potatoes (see Healthy Diet).

Be more active – If you spend a lot of time sitting down, this is known as a sedentary lifestyle. Being sedentary is linked with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. This doesn’t mean you need to take up a new sport or join the gym, you could make small changes so that you are a little more active every day. Think about taking phone calls standing up, using stairs instead of the lift, and going for a walk on your lunch break (see Physical Activity).