What is prediabetes?

What is prediabetes?

Someone is prediabetic if their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be diagnosed and treated for diabetes.

It’s also called non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, and it means you’re at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future.

How many people in the UK are prediabetic?

As many as 13.6 million people in the UK are thought to be at risk of diabetes, with 7 million2 estimated to have blood sugar levels that make them pre-diabetic.

How do you know if you’re prediabetic?

Because there aren’t many symptoms, the only way to tell if you’re pre-diabetic is with a blood test. So it’s worth knowing if you might be at risk…

Who’s at risk of pre-diabetes?

You’re at risk of pre-diabetes if it runs in the family – in fact you’re 2-6 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if a parent, brother, sister or child has the disease.

You’re more at risk if you’re older, and if you carry extra weight, particularly around your middle. But it’s important to note you can’t tell if someone’s diabetic just by looking at them, or their weight.

Type 2 diabetes is also 2 to 4 times 3 more likely if you’re of African-Caribbean, Black African or South Asian descent.

Can someone who is prediabetic avoid diabetes?

The really good news is that half of people with pre-diabetes can avoid developing type 2 diabetes if they change their lifestyle4.

What exactly is Type 2 diabetes?

When you have Type 2 diabetes the insulin your body makes stops being effective. Around 90% of diabetics5 in the UK have type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes?

The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes are the same as for Type 1, but often come on a lot more slowly - making them harder to spot. Many people don’t have any symptoms at all.

The things to look out for include:

  • Increased urination – particularly at night
  • Excessive thirst
  • General fatigue
  • Slow-healing cuts/wounds
  • Recurring thrush
  • Blurred vision
  • Itching
  • Tingling hands and feet

How do you manage prediabetes and avoid Type 2 diabetes?

Pre-diabetes can often be managed through healthier eating, being more active, and losing weight. Basically, all the things we know we should be doing to look after ourselves!

How can Equipsme help?

Equipsme plans come with 24/7 GP access, which can provide convenient, swift appointments, and a vital second opinion service. Plan level 1 comes with a Thriva home health check for diabetes and all other plans include a discount voucher towards a Thriva home health check that include an HbA1c test which can help people identify blood sugar abnormalities and spot conditions like pre-diabetes and diabetes early.


Further reading:

What is diabetes?
8 diabetes symptoms you shouldn’t ignore
Working with diabetes
Equipsme GP second opinion catches diabetes diagnosis


1. diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/types-of-diabetes/type-2/preventing
2. diabetes.co.uk/prediabetes.html#:~:text=In%20the%20UK%2C%20around%207,for%20developing%20type%202%20diabetes
3. diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/types-of-diabetes/type-2/prediabetes#:~:text=Causes%20of%20prediabetes,of%20developing%20type%202%20diabetes
4. diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/types-of-diabetes/type-2/preventing#:~:text=Half%20of%20people%20at%20risk,healthy%20weight%20and%20waist%20size
5. diabetes.org.uk/about-us/about-the-charity/our-strategy/statistics

All our information is desk-based research from credible sources only, including the NHS and medical/disease charities.