Prediabetes Info

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic and sometimes fatal disease, in which your body cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it has.  There are different types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and type 2 diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes generally develops during childhood and is treated with insulin.   Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that can occur during pregnancy.  Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and typically develops during adulthood.


Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease where your body has high blood sugar levels (blood glucose). In type 2 diabetes your body cannot use the insulin it has produced or is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate the amount of sugar in your blood.  Too much sugar in your blood can damage the blood vessels which in turn can damage vital organs. In the beginning of type 2 diabetes, your pancreas works extra hard to compensate trying to lower blood sugar but eventually the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas can fail leading to the requirement for insulin injections.


What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition where your body has higher than usual blood sugar levels but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is classified when your fasting blood glucose levels are elevated but slightly lower than 7 mmol/L.

You may be at risk for prediabetes if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have excess fat around your waist
  • You have high cholesterol
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You are largely sedentary (you sit for most of your day)
  • You do not exercise regularly
  • You have a family member with type 2 diabetes
  • You are over 40 years old

Are you over 40 years old? The Canadian Diabetes Association suggests that you test your blood sugar every 3 years.


The good news

If you have prediabetes or you are at risk for prediabetes, you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making changes to your lifestyle. Making positive changes that include a healthy diet, physical activity, not smoking, and moderate alcohol intake can all reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


How can exercise help my blood sugar?

When you exercise, your body will use glucose (blood sugar) as an energy source. For this reason, your blood sugar levels will decrease after you exercise. When you exercise consistently your body will use the insulin more efficiently and your blood sugar levels can decrease.


Want to know more? Read the articles below if you want to learn more about the science behind prediabetes and its risk factors.

Canadian Diabetes Association

American diabetes Association’s Position Statement on Diabetes Care

American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand on Diabetes and Physical Activity

Eikenberg, JD., Savla, J., Marinik, EL., Davy, KP., Pownall, J., Baugh, ME., … Davy, B. M. (2016). Pre diabetes Phenotype Influences Improvements in Glucose Homeostasis with Resistance Training. Plos One, 11(2), e0148009.

D., Dunstan, D. W., Prins, J. B., Baker, M. K., Singh, M. A. F., & Coombes, J. S. (2012). Exercise prescription for patients with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes: A position statement from Exercise and Sport Science Australia. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15(1), 25–31

Hussain, A., Claussen, B., Ramachandran, a., & Williams, R. (2007). Prevention of type 2 diabetes: A review. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 76, 317–326

Lau, D. C. W., & Teoh, H. (2015). Current and Emerging Pharmacotherapies for Weight Management in Prediabetes and Diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 39, S134–S141

Sinclair, A.J., Conroy, S. P., & Bayer, A. J. (2008). Impact of Diabetes on Physical Function in Older People. Diabetes Care, 31(2), 233–235