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Can You Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?

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Your doctor’s just told you that you have prediabetes. That means there's a good chance you could get type 2 diabetes, but you don't have to. There are plenty of things you can do to try to prevent it.

Focus on the things you can change, like your diet and how active you are. Don’t dwell on the things you can't do anything about, like your age or your family's medical history.

Did You Know?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including screening tests for type 2 diabetes, at no cost to you. Learn more.

Health Insurance Center

Your doctor can let you know where you stand and what you can do to turn things around.

First Line of Defense: Weight, Diet, and Exercise

Losing extra pounds, eating better, and becoming more active are some of the most important steps you can take.

There are people who aren't overweight who have type 2 diabetes. But added pounds do put you at risk.

In one study, being overweight or obese was the single most important thing that predicted who would get diabetes. The study results showed that over 16 years, regular exercise -- at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week -- and a low-fat, high-fiber diet helped prevent it.

Do You Need Medicine?

If you're at high risk for the disease, your doctor may recommend taking medication to hold it off. Several studies show that various types of diabetes drugs, along with a healthy lifestyle, can cut the odds that you'll get it

One study showed that people most likely to get it could lower their odds by 31%. They took the prescription diabetes drug metformin and made lifestyle and diet changes.

That's good. But the study also showed that drastic lifestyle changes are the best way to avoid diabetes. You'll need to work with a dietitian to come up with a meal plan and talk to a trainer about how to get more exercise.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on September 28, 2014
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Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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Normal
70-130
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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