Risk factors for Pre-diabetes and Diabetes

  • Your risk increases with age.  You're more at risk if you are white and over 40 or over 25 if you are African-Caribbean, Black African or South Asian
  • You are two to six times more likely to get Type 2 Diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes is two to four times more likely in people of South Asian descent and African-Caribbean or Black African descent.
  • You are more at risk if you have ever had high blood pressure
  • You are more at risk of Type 2 Diabetes if you are carrying extra weight, especially if this weight is around your middle.
  • You had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant

If you have risk factors or are experiencing increased thirst or passing urine more or feeling more tired - contact the Practice to arrange a blood test.


What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes (pre DM) means that your blood sugars are higher than usual, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  Each year in the UK, 5 to 10% of people diagnosed with pre-diabetes go on to develop Type 2 Diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is also called: Borderline Diabetes, Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), Impaired Glucose Regulation (IGR), Non-diabetic Hyperglycaemia.

You can stop Pre-diabetes developing into Type 2 Diabetes by

  • Managing your weight
  • Eating well
  • Avoid or stop smoking
  • Reduce your waist measurement (less than 80cm for women/less than 94cm for men)
  • Increase physical activity


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 is important.  The NHS offers a free 12 week weight management programme

NHS Inform Healthy Living 12 week weight management programme


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.

Being active in your daily life can help to reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  Regular physical activity will help manage your weight, reduce your blood glucose levels as well as lowering your cholesterol.  Aim for 30 minutes/day of moderate to vigorous exercise that leaves you slightly breathless at least 5 times per week.  By making these changes, blood sugar levels can be returned to normal.

In fact, the recently completed Diabetes Prevention Programme study conclusively showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes by making dietary changes and increasing their level of physical activity.


If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes you should be seen at least annually in the Skerryvore Diabetic Clinic.  Often blood tests are needed more frequently in Type 1, Type 2 on Insulin or Type 2 diabetics changing oral medications.

At the annual check up

Your Diabetes doctor or nurse will conduct tests for a variety of different diabetic complications.  Annual check ups include:

  • eyes (run separately at the hospital)
  • Foot checks to check your circulation and any signs of nerve damage
  • blood pressure
  • blood tests - HbA1c (a measurement of your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months) kidney, liver and thyroid functions and your lipid screen (cholesterol and fat levels in blood)
  • Urine to check the protein levels for early signs of kidney damage
  • weight
  • we will also discuss your lifestyle, exercise levels and diet and help you to better manage these 
  • When needed blood sugar monitoring and insulin management will also be discussed.

You will also be referred for diabetic education when available through NHS Orkney.  Sometimes we will also need t refer you to the Dietician, Diabetes Specialist Nurse or Diabetes Consultant at ARI (Aberdeen Royal Infirmary)

Useful resources





NHS ScotlandThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website