Health conditions


What is pre-diabetes?

There are 2 types of pre-diabetes: impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG).

Having either condition can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, 2 out of 3 people at risk can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by making positive lifestyle changes.

These changes include increasing physical activity levels, having a healthy eating pattern, reducing body fat and quitting smoking.

Impaired glucose tolerance

IGT is a condition closely related to type 2 diabetes. It occurs when the blood glucose level is higher than the non-diabetes range after meals, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.

IGT most commonly occurs in people who are overweight and physically inactive. People who carry excess weight around the waistline are at greatest risk.

There are often no symptoms associated with IGT therefore if you have one or more risk factors it is important that a doctor assesses you for diabetes.

Your doctor should have a sample of blood sent to a laboratory, and this will help them decide if they need to perform a test called an oral glucose tolerance test to determine if you have IGT.

Impaired fasting glucose

Having IFG also means that fasting blood glucose levels are higher than the non-diabetes range, but not within the diabetes range. IFG occurs less frequently than IGT.

Self blood glucose monitoring

Self blood glucose monitoring for IGT/IFG is not necessary or recommended. Ask your GP for a fasting glucose test once a year instead, and most importantly work to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Try the web-based program My Healthy Balance (external site).

Where to get help

  • See your doctor.
  • See a dietitian or diabetes educator.
  • Visit a GP after hours.
  • Ring healthdirect on 1800 022 222.
  • Phone the Diabetes WA Advice Line on 1300 001 880.


  • IGT/IFG are conditions closely related to type 2 diabetes.
  • IGT most commonly occurs in people who are overweight and physically inactive.

This information provided by

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Diabetes WA

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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