Diabetes Prevention (Type 2 Diabetes)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Type 2 Diabetes Warning Signs

Quick GuideBlood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels

Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels

Are there medications that can help to prevent type 2 diabetes?

  • As described previously, metformin (Glucophage) has been shown in the DPP trial to prevent the development of diabetes in those with impaired glucose tolerance. While not quite as effective as intensive lifestyle change, metformin decreased the rate of progression from 29% in the placebo group to 22%.
  • The American Diabetes Association has recommended metformin for the prevention of diabetes in very high-risk individuals.
    • High-risk individuals are those under 60 years of age or who are obese, or women with a history of gestational diabetes who have impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or Hemoglobin A1C levels of 5.7 to 6.4 percent, in whom lifestyle interventions fail to improve control of glucose levels.
  • Acarbose (Precose), a drug designed to reduce small intestinal absorption of carbohydrates has been used with some success as well and is licensed for diabetes prevention in some countries. The STOP NIDDM trial showed that in about 1400 patients with impaired glucose tolerance, acarbose significantly reduced progression to diabetes compared to placebo. However, the occurrence of gastrointestinal side effects have limited the use of this drug for some people.


American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care. Effects of Diet and Exercise in Preventing NIDDM in People With Impaired Glucose Tolerance: The Da Qing IGT and Diabetes Study.

American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care. The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS).

American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP): description of lifestyle intervention.

CDC.gov. Diabetes Facts.

FDA Prescribing Information for Avandia.

Harvard School of Public Health. Study Links Western Dietary Pattern with a Greater Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Men.

Harvard School of Public Health. Simple Steps to Preventing Diabetes.

Medscape. Metformin underused in patients with prediabetes. May 01, 2015

Medscape. Inflammatory marker profile shifts as type 2 diabetes develops. May 01, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/14/2016

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  • Diabetes Prevention - Risk Factors

    Are you concerned that you may have the risk factors for diabetes? What steps have you taken to decrease your risk?

  • Diabetes Prevention - Symptoms

    What were your symptoms associated with diabetes?

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  • Diabetes Prevention - Medications

    What medications are you currently taken, or have taken in the past to help prevent type 2 diabetes?

  • Diabetes Prevention - Diet

    What diet changes have you found to help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

  • Diabetes Prevention - Experience

    Please share your experience with preventing diabetes, for example, diet or other lifestyle changes such as exercise.


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