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Treatment & Prevention
While pre-diabetes in itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, the fact is that many people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
If you have pre-diabetes, realize that you’re fortunate to have found out while there is still a lot you can do to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. Here are some preventative measures:
If you have pre-diabetes, work closely with your doctor to create a plan of sensible lifestyle changes that will work for you. The complications of diabetes—heart disease, stroke, blindness, and more—can be avoided by taking these proactive steps today.
Lose weight. In a study of more that 3,000 people with pre-diabetes, a five to seven percent weight loss (about 10 pounds for a 200-pound person) lowered the incidence of type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent. Follow the SparkDiet to reach your weight loss goal.
Get active. Physical activity (and its accompanying weight loss) will lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and boost you health in other ways too. Try walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Read about Exercising with Diabetes for more tips.
Eat sensibly. Cut excess calories, sugar, saturated fat and trans fat from your diet and you will cut your risk of diabetes. Include more healthy fats, fiber, whole grains, fruits and veggies, using the Nutrition Resource Center as a guide.
Quit smoking. Smokers are 50% to 90% more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers. If you smoke, taking steps to quit today can reduce your risk of serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes.
Drink moderately. Moderate drinking (no more than one drink daily for women or two drinks daily for men) has a protective effect against diabetes, but avoid heavy drinking.
For more specific information or help, talk to your health care provider. The American Diabetes Association's National Call Center also offers live advice from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday at 1-800-DIABETES or 1-800-342-2383.
Prediabetes: What You Need to Know (RealAge.com)
This article has been reviewed and approved by Amy Poetker, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.