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Your treatment for prediabetes will focus on losing weight, eating right, 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. But research has shown that over the long term, healthy lifestyle changes can work better than medicine at reducing your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.2
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?
If you have a BMI of 25 or higher, losing 5% to 10% of your body weight may help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.2 For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, losing 10 to 20 pounds can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. It is especially helpful to lose belly fat.
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.
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:
For help, see the topic Healthy Eating.
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.
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.
Take medicine if you need to
If you do need medicine, be sure to take it as directed.
If you smoke, quit
Quitting smoking can help you reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and avoid other health problems that make diabetes worse. Quitting can also reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
Watch blood pressure and cholesterol levels
When you have prediabetes, you are more likely to get heart disease than someone with normal blood sugar levels. High cholesterol is also linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.3 So it's important to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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