Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have developed a reliable test to spot the disease in the early stage. This test provides hope that the condition may be prevented from progressing out of control.
Lead researcher Gerald Hart says that early stages of the disease, scientifically known as "pre-diabetes", are characterised by increased reaction rates between sugars called hexosamines and proteins in the body.
According to him, the results can be seen in the blood as raised levels of a particular sugar, known as O-linked ß-N-acetylglucosamine.
Hart says that the new test can help measure levels of this compound and, thereby, diagnose pre-diabetes.
The researchers hope that people with pre-diabetes can be made aware of their condition in this way, and recommended necessary dietary changes to prevent the development of full-blown diabetes, reports New Scientist magazine.