Understanding Diabetes -- Prevention

Medically Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on May 14, 2021

How Can I Prevent Diabetes?

Because of the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes, you can do a great deal to reduce your chance of developing the disease by slimming down if you are overweight. This is especially true if diabetes runs in your family.

In fact, studies have shown that exercise and a healthy diet can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in people with pre-diabetes -- a condition that often develops prior to full-blown type 2 diabetes.

The medications acarbose (Precose), exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon), metformin (Glucophage), and pioglitazone (Actos) have also been shown to be effective in delaying or preventing type 2 diabetes in those at risk.

In someone who already has diabetes, exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet can greatly limit the effects of both types 1 and 2 diabetes on your body. In diabetics, stopping smoking is one of the best ways to help prevent the damaging effects of diabetes. If you smoke, quit; smoking dramatically increases the risk of heart disease, particularly for people with diabetes.

Show Sources


American Family Physician. 

National Diabetes Education Program. 

American Diabetes Association. 

Clinical Diabetes Journal.

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