Pre-Diabetes (cont.)

Why Is It Important to Recognize and Treat Pre-Diabetes?

By identifying the signs of diabetes before diabetes occurs, you can prevent type 2 diabetes all together and lower your risk of complications associated with the condition, such as cardiovascular disease.

A large 3 year study done recently in patients at risk of developing type 2 diabetes found that lifestyle changes with exercise, mild weight loss and treatment with drugs that work to sensitize a person to the actions of insulin, can decrease a person with pre-diabetes chance of getting type 2 diabetes by up to 60%. Changing a person's lifestyle habits with increased physical activities and mild weight loss was more effective than medications at reducing the risk of developing the disease. For some people with pre-diabetes, intervening early can actually return elevated blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Pre-Diabetes: What's the Treatment?

  • Eat a heart healthy diet and lose weight. A 5% to 10% change in weight can make a huge difference.
  • Exercise. Try to exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The activity can be split into several short periods: 3 sessions of 10 minutes. Select an activity that you enjoy such as walking. In the study mentioned above, the total amount of exercise per week was 150 minutes.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Reviewed by Certified Diabetes Educators in the Department of Patient Education and Health Information and by physicians in the Department of Endocrinology at The Cleveland Clinic.
Edited by Brunilda Nazario, MD, WebMD, October 2004.

WebMD Medical Reference

Last Editorial Review: 5/24/2005