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You can treat prediabetes by eating right, exercising regularly and losing a modest amount of weight. Prediabetes, a condition in which your blood sugar is elevated but not high enough to indicate type 2 diabetes, greatly increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, some lifestyle changes may prevent you from developing type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight, losing about 5% to 10% of your body weight (often just 10 to 15 pounds) can help bring your blood sugar levels back to normal. Regular exercise, such as walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can also be effective.
Treatment consists of losing a modest amount of weight (5-10 percent of total body weight) through diet and moderate exercise, such as walking, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Don't worry if you can't get to your ideal body weight. A loss of just 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference. If you have prediabetes, you are at a 50 percent increased risk for heart disease or stroke, so your doctor may wish to treat or counsel you about cardiovascular risk factors, such as tobacco use, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
There are three main steps to treating prediabetes:
- Reverse your body's resistance to insulin.
- Lose weight to help your body be more sensitive to insulin.
- Exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
Studies show that the following two things can decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes:
- Taking a brisk walk or doing another moderate intensity workout for just 30 minutes 5 days a week, and
- Losing 5% to 7% of your body weight and keeping off as many of those pounds as possible
Always talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness program.
Other ways to help treat prediabetes:
- Eat a variety of foods that are low in fat.
- Reduce the number of calories you eat per day.
Try adding these healthier choices to your diet:
- The "P" fruits (peaches, prunes and pears)
- Whole grain breads
- Green leafy vegetables
- Brown rice
- Beans (black, lentil, garbanzo or kidney beans)
Get your plan in action to reap those awesome health benefits. Your health is your greatest wealth!
Prediabetes is treatable. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss and regular exercise are most helpful in lowering blood glucose in people with prediabetes. In fact, studies show that these changes can delay -- and perhaps prevent -- the onset of diabetes and other problems.
Many of the same medications used to treat diabetes can also be used for prediabetes; the most common one is called Metformin. It is perhaps better to look at prediabetes as a warning that lifestyle issues, particularly diet and exercise, are not in balance. The focus should initially be on improving these factors if possible before starting treatment with drugs.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.