Type 2 Diabetes and Impaired Fasting Glucose
If you are having any symptoms or have any questions, please call 811 to speak with a registered nurse 24 hours a day.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when a person’s body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin properly. If left untreated, it may result in blindness, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and amputations. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 occurs when the body doesn’t produce any insulin. People with type 2 diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin or their cells ignore the insulin. Nearly 95% of people with diabetes have type 2.
What is impaired fasting glucose?
Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) is a term to describe an elevated blood sugar (glucose) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to say a person has diabetes. People who have IFG have a high risk of getting diabetes and one reason a person may be diagnosed with pre-diabetes. They also are more likely to have a heart attack.
How can my healthcare provider tell if I have impaired fasting glucose or diabetes?
Your healthcare provider can use a blood test to see if you have IFG or diabetes.
Who is at risk?
You are at risk for getting IFG or diabetes if any of the following are true:
- You are overweight or obese, especially around the abdomen.
- You have a parent, brother or sister who has diabetes.
- You had diabetes during pregnancy (called gestational diabetes) or had a baby who weighed more than 4 kg (9 pounds) at birth.
- You belong to any of the following ethnic groups: You belong to any of the following ethnic groups: Hispanic, Asian, South Asian or African descent
- You have high blood pressure
- You have high cholesterol or other fats in the blood
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome.
What can I do to avoid getting diabetes?
You can lower your risk of getting diabetes by making changes in your lifestyle. If you are overweight, losing weight can help. Losing weight also helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Physical activity of any kind can help. Adults aged 18-64 years should get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Talk to your healthcare provider about a safe exercise level for you.
Following a healthy diet also is important. Eat foods like salads, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, beans, poultry and other meats. Don’t eat a lot of white sugar, honey or molasses. Eat foods made with whole grains instead of white flour.
Less than 30 percent of your total daily calories should come from fat. Less than 10 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. Carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. Canadian women need 25 grams of fibre per day and men need 38 grams of fibre per day. Your healthcare provider might refer you to a dietitian or diabetes educator to help you change your eating habits.
Can medicine help prevent or delay diabetes?
Diabetes medicines are not as effective as diet and physical activity. However, your healthcare provider might prescribe medicine if you are at high risk for diabetes and have other medical problems, such as obesity, a high triglyceride level, a low HDL cholesterol level or high blood pressure.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Nova Scotia and PEI Toll Free: 1-800-326-7712
Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Impaired Fasting Glucose (American Family Physician April 15, 2004, http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0415/p1961.html)