I Don't Have Diabetes, How Can I Prevent It?
Research studies have found that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk of diabetes. Find out more about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, what it means to have prediabetes, and what you can do to prevent or delay diabetes.
What is Prediabetes?
Progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable. Studies suggest that weight loss and increased physical activity among people with prediabetes prevent or delay diabetes and may return blood glucose levels to normal.
Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
How Do I Prevent Prediabetes?
Find out more about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and what you can do to prevent or delay diabetes. You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting diabetes—you can be stronger than diabetes.
Making big changes in your life is hard, especially if you are faced with more than one change. You can make it easier by taking these steps:
Your doctor, a dietitian, or a counselor can help you make a plan. Here are some of the areas you may wish to change to reduce your risk of diabetes.
Reach and maintain a reasonable body weight
Your weight affects your health in many ways. Being overweight can keep your body from making and using insulin properly. It can also cause high blood pressure. Losing even a few pounds can help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes because it helps your body use insulin more effectively. Studies have shown that people who lost between 5 and 7 percent of their body weight significantly reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, losing about 10 pounds would make a difference.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body weight relative to height. You can use BMI to see whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
If you are overweight or obese, choose sensible ways to get in shape:
Make wise food choices most of the time
What you eat has a big impact on your health. By making wise food choices, you can help control your body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Be physically active every day
Regular exercise tackles several risk factors at once. It helps you lose weight, keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and helps your body use insulin effectively. People who were physically active for 30 minutes a day reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes. Many choose a brisk walk for exercise.
If you are not very active, you should start slowly, talking with your doctor first about what kinds of exercise would be safe for you. Make a plan to increase your activity level toward the goal of being active for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.
Choose activities you enjoy. Here are some ways to work extra activity into your daily routine:
Some people need medication to help control their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. If
you do, take your medicines as directed. Ask your doctor whether there are any
medicines you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Facts about Prediabetes