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Prediabetes - Treatment Overview

Your treatment for prediabetes will focus on losing weight, eating healthy foods, and getting active. This is your chance to reverse prediabetes so it doesn't turn into type 2 diabetes. Doing these things will also help you avoid other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke, that are linked to diabetes.

You may also need to take diabetes medicine along with doing these things.

Watch your weight

Most people who have prediabetes are overweight and have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher. To find out your BMI, use the Interactive Tool: Is Your BMI Increasing Your Health Risks? calculator.gif

If you have a BMI of 25 or higher, try to lose 5% to 10% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, aim to lose 10 to 20 pounds.

A healthy weight helps your body use insulin the way it should. Losing weight can also lower insulin resistance in people who have prediabetes. The more you lose, the more you benefit, as long as you do it in a healthy way.

How you do it is up to you. One way to start is by making healthy eating changes that you can keep doing over time. Try reducing the number of calories you eat and drink and adding more activity to your day. For help, see the topic Weight Management.

predia_jerry.jpg

One Man's Story:

Jerry, 54

Jerry signed up for a weight-loss program and started a daily food diary to track what and when he ate. He added walks around the neighborhood and visits to the gym to his routine. In 7 months, he dropped 25 pounds—about 10% of his body weight.

"It hasn't been easy. I've had some ups and downs, especially over the holidays. Hey, I love to eat. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused. But tracking what, when, and why I eat helps me to eat less."—Jerry

Read more about Jerry.

Make healthy food choices

Eating a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your health. Try to:

  • Limit the amount of unhealthy fat you eat, such as saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
  • Cut calories.
  • Limit sweets.

For help, see the topic Healthy Eating.

actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Starting a Plan for Change
actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Cutting Unhealthy Fats From Your Diet
actionset.gif Diabetes: Using a Plate Format to Plan Meals

Get active

The more active you are, the more sugar (glucose) your body uses for energy. This keeps the sugar from building up in your blood. Exercise can also improve insulin resistance.

Try to do moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week. Or try to do vigorous activity at least 1¼ hours a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program. For more help, see the topic Fitness.

Quick Tips: Getting Active At Home
actionset.gif Fitness: Adding More Activity to Your Life
actionset.gif Fitness: Walking for Wellness

predia_linda.jpg

One Woman's Story:

Linda, 39

Linda works full-time, has three young children, and has zero time for the gym. So when she learned she had prediabetes, she had to find creative ways to fit activity into her day. For example, after dinner she turns up the stereo and does dance moves while washing dishes, putting food away, and cleaning the kitchen.

"It takes about a half-hour and is a great workout. My kids get a big kick out of it too."—Linda

Read more about Linda.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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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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