CPR First Aid

What’s the Difference between Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes?

Prediabetes normally comes first before developing into Type 2 diabetes. Know the difference between the two, its treatment and how to prevent complications.

Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are both serious conditions, but there is a big difference between the two. Prediabetes is a warning sign that you may develop type 2 diabetes, while type 2 diabetes is a full-blown disease. Knowing the difference between these conditions is important in order to get the treatment you need.

Why is Type 2 Diabetes Dangerous?

Also known as adult-onset diabetes, it is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolises sugar (glucose). Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use it effectively. This can cause your blood sugar levels to become too high.

It usually develops gradually, as your body slowly becomes less able to process insulin. However, it can sometimes develop quickly, especially in children and young adults.

Adult-onset diabetes: Chronic sugar metabolism issue; insufficient insulin leads to high blood sugar.

Common Health Complications

Type 2 diabetes is dangerous because it can lead to a number of serious health complications, including:

Heart Disease

One of the most serious complications associated with type 2 diabetes is heart disease. Due to high glucose levels, the blood vessels and nerves in it are damaged. People with diabetes are up to four times more likely to develop heart disease than people without it.

"High glucose damages vessels, increasing heart disease risk in diabetes."


Diabetes can also lead to stroke. Food is not processed properly and the body cannot make or use insulin correctly, which causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream damaging the blood vessels over time and increasing the risk of stroke. In fact, people with the disease are two to four times more likely to have a stroke than others.

Diabetes raises stroke risk. Poor food processing, insulin issues, and glucose buildup damage vessels.

Kidney Disease

Another serious complication of diabetes. High blood sugar can cause blood vessels to narrow and clog. Not enough blood is supplied to the kidneys, damaging them and ultimately affecting their function. People with diabetes are up to 40 times more likely to develop kidney disease.

Diabetes complications: narrowed vessels, kidney damage, 40x higher risk of kidney disease.


Complications start with poor vision leading to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is one problem wherein the blood vessels and nerves in the retina are damaged because of high blood glucose. People with diabetes are up to 20 times more likely to develop blindness than people without diabetes.

Poor vision can escalate to blindness due to diabetic retinopathy, caused by damaged retina vessels and nerves from high glucose.

Can Type 2 Diabetes Develop Without Any Warning Signs?

Yes, type 2 diabetes can develop without any warning signs. However, some people with the condition may experience symptoms such as increased thirst, urination, and fatigue.

Which Environmental Factors Affect Type 2 Diabetes Risk?

Many different environmental factors can increase an individual’s risk for type 2 diabetes. Some of these factors include:


One of the most significant risk factors for type 2 diabetes is obesity. Individuals who are obese have a much higher risk of developing the condition than those who are at a healthy weight.


A diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase an individual’s risk for type 2 diabetes. Foods that are high in saturated fat can also contribute to the development of the condition.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Lack of physical activity can lead to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Individuals who are inactive are more likely to develop the condition than those who are physically active.


The risk for type 2 diabetes increases as an individual gets older. This is due in part to the fact that the body’s ability to process insulin decreases with age. It usually occurs in adults over the age of 40, although it is becoming more common in younger adults and children.

Family History

Individuals who have a family history of type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop the condition themselves.


Certain ethnic groups, such as Native Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans, are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than other groups.

Is it possible to be super fit whilst obtaining diabetes type 2?

This is possible. Being physically active can help you manage your blood sugar levels and prevent the onset of diabetes type 2.

Diabetic emergencies can happen anytime to anyone with diabetes. In addition to being a workplace qualification, if you have the knowledge and skills needed to provide first aid in Adelaide CBD such as NRT LogoHLTAID010 Provide an emergency first aid response or NRT LogoHLTAID014 Provide advanced first aid with CPR First Aid, this will not only be an asset to you but you’ll be confident enough to save lives.

Growth of Diabetes in Australia

By the year 2025, Diabetes Australia estimates that 3 million Australians in their mid-20s will have diabetes if the current rate continues to rise. This will also mean there will be more cases of complications. One major risk factor leading to type 2 diabetes is obesity. If obesity is eliminated, diabetes can be reduced by 40%.

How Do I Know if I’m Borderline Diabetic?

What typically happens in prediabetes, also called borderline diabetes is, that the blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Although it may seem scary, this is an opportunity to improve health conditions and prevent serious consequences.

Can you develop type 2 diabetes before pre-diabetes?

Normally, prediabetes comes first before developing type 2 diabetes but on the reverse, not everyone that has borderline diabetes will end up with diabetes.

What are the Main Causes of Prediabetes?

According to endocrineweb, prediabetes serves as an indicator that the body isn’t utilising insulin efficiently. Note that insulin is needed for glucose to enter the cells in order to help in the production of energy. In this case, cells have started to become resistant to insulin. And when this happens, glucose remains and accumulates in the blood. Without intervention, this will progress to type 2 diabetes.

Classic Signs & Symptoms

Prediabetes doesn’t usually present any symptoms and they can go undetected over time until the person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. One possibility that a person has prediabetes is darkened skin in the neck, armpits and groin area.

If the person is overweight and has a family history of diabetes, it is best to see a healthcare provider or doctor to know what tests and interventions are needed. In addition, these can be the blood glucose test results indicating borderline diabetes:

  • HbA1c value of 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) or above
  • The glucose concentration of 6.1 mmol/L or higher and less than 7.0 mmol/L
  • The 2-hour blood sugar level of 7.8-11.0 mmol/L

Signs and symptoms that suggest prediabetes has progressed to type 2 diabetes are:

  • Polydipsia – increased thirst
  • Polyuria – frequent urination or large amounts of urine
  • Polyphagia – excessive hunger or still hungry even after a full meal
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness in the hands and feet
  • Always having infections
  • Bruises and wounds are slow healing
  • Unplanned weight gain

Is There Treatment for Prediabetes?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the treatment of prediabetes will vary depending on the individual’s unique situation. However, some possible treatments for prediabetes include lifestyle changes (such as diet and exercise) and medication.

Making lifestyle changes is often the first step in treating prediabetes, as these changes can help to lower blood sugar levels and improve overall health. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to manage blood sugar levels, medication may be necessary. Medications used to treat prediabetes include metformin, acarbose, and pioglitazone.

In conclusion, people with prediabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Getting tested early can help reduce the risks of developing Type 2 diabetes and its complications. 

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