Prediabetes Treatment, Management and Self-Care

Prediabetes is like a warning sign from your body that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prediabetes range typically involves a fasting blood sugar level between 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or a hemoglobin A1c level between 5.7% and 6.4%.

People with prediabetes are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues. But the good news is, with lifestyle changes like eating healthier and exercising more, you can often prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Think of it as a chance to take control of your health before things get more serious.

Treatment of Prediabetes

Treatment of Prediabetes

Prediabetes is a stage that gives you a last chance to take control of your health and prevent type 2 diabetes. If done correctly, prediabetes can be reversed naturally with a little lifestyle changes. According to the health professionals at Johns Hopkins Medicine, a healthy lifestyle can slow down, stop and even reverse prediabetes.

To prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes, you can incorporate the following habits into your daily routine:

Adapt Healthy Eating

Opting for nutritious eating habits is necessary for prediabetes management, as stated by the Cleveland Clinic. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil is linked to a reduced risk of prediabetes. Prioritise foods that are low in fat and calories but high in fiber. Embrace a diverse range of foods to meet your dietary goals while maintaining both flavour and nutritional value.

Consistent Physical Activity

Regular moderate-intensity physical activities boost glucose utilisation and enhance muscle insulin sensitivity. Just one session of moderate exercise can enhance glucose absorption from the bloodstream into muscles by up to 40%, effectively reducing blood sugar levels. Strive for 30 minutes daily, five days a week, totalling 150 minutes weekly. Choose activities you enjoy, like walking or other forms of exercise.

Lose Excess Weight

Being overweight or obese leads to certain health problems and can worsen the symptoms of prediabetes. It’s crucial to lose weight if you have prediabetes. Cutting your weight by just 5-10% can do wonders about how your body responds to insulin. Focus on following a good diet to stay within the healthy weight range.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking improves insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of prediabetes progressing to type 2 diabetes. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, cutting down smoking can improve insulin sensitivity. smoking worsens inflammation and insulin resistance, both key factors in diabetes development. By quitting, individuals mitigate these risks, promoting better blood sugar control and overall health, potentially preventing or delaying the onset of prediabetes and its complications.

Keep Cholesterol In Check

According to the American Heart Association, diabetes tends to reduce good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol. Controlling cholesterol levels helps treat prediabetes by reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications associated with the condition. High cholesterol contributes to insulin resistance and inflammation, worsening prediabetes. Managing cholesterol through lifestyle changes and medications improves overall heart health, mitigating the risk of cardiovascular diseases and supporting better blood sugar regulation in prediabetic individuals.

Stress Management

Effective stress management aids in treating prediabetes by reducing cortisol levels, which can raise blood sugar. Chronic stress worsens insulin resistance, exacerbating prediabetes. Techniques like mindfulness, exercise, and relaxation methods alleviate stress, promoting better blood sugar control. By managing stress, individuals with prediabetes can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Read More: Know About Insulin Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

Should You Take Medicine For Prediabetes?

Generally, medication is not prescribed for prediabetes as your blood sugar levels have not exceeded the threshold for diabetes. However, if your fasting blood sugar levels are consistently at the higher end (around 125mg/dL), your doctor might put you on medication to ensure your blood sugar levels don’t cross the prediabetes range.

Suggesting medication for prediabetes becomes more probable if lifestyle adjustments fail to enhance blood sugar levels, particularly if multiple risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are present. Metformin and acarbose are the typical medications recommended by healthcare providers for prediabetes management.

Prediabetes Management and Self-Care

Prediabetes Management and Self-Care

Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels alarm you to the risk of developing full-blown diabetes. But it doesn’t have to be treated with medicines and conventional methods. Managing prediabetes can be simple and interesting. According to the CDC, losing just 5% of your body weight can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Here are some things you can do to make your prediabetes management so easy that it doesn’t look like a treatment, rather, it’s a lifestyle change.

1. Don’t Run After Numbers:

You might think counting calories, fat, and carbs is the key to healthy eating, but it’s actually too simple and can lead you astray. Focusing on the quality of your food is the best way to improve how your body responds to insulin. Don’t worry too much about carbs; even whole grains are okay. Just because something is low in carbs doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Instead, aim to eat plenty of berries, vegetables, oats, barley, beans, and lentils. These foods are high in fiber, which can help lower your risk of getting sick.

2. Try Eating On Time:

When we eat, our body breaks down food into sugar (glucose) to use for energy. Eating at regular times helps regulate this process, keeping blood sugar levels stable. Intermittent fasting (IF) takes this a step further by giving our bodies longer breaks between meals, allowing insulin (a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar) to work more effectively. This can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels over time. A review of eight years of research published in theInternational Journal of Endocrinologyin 2022 found that IF can lower fasting blood glucose. Essentially, IF gives our bodies a chance to reset and balance blood sugar levels, promoting better overall health.

3. Fix Your Sleep Cycle:

Fixing your sleep cycle is crucial for managing prediabetes because sleep directly affects insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. When you don’t get enough sleep or have irregular sleep patterns, your body produces more stress hormones like cortisol, which can lead to insulin resistance and higher blood sugar levels. Additionally, inadequate sleep disrupts the body’s natural processes for regulating glucose, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By prioritizing consistent and sufficient sleep, you can improve insulin sensitivity, better regulate blood sugar, and reduce the risk of progressing from prediabetes to diabetes.

4. Eat More Fiber:

Eating more fiber is beneficial for prediabetes self-care because it helps regulate blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Fiber slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing spikes in blood sugar after meals. Additionally, it promotes a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management—a key factor in managing prediabetes. Fiber also supports a healthy gut microbiome, which is linked to improved glucose metabolism. By including high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts in your diet, you can better control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

5. Practice Strength Training:

If you’re walking more every day, try adding some strength training too.A study in 2021found that resistance training, like lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises, can help lower blood sugar levels and reduce body fat in people at risk for type 2 diabetes. You don’t need to lift heavy weights to see the benefits. Start with easy exercises like lunges, squats, and push-ups, which you can adjust to your fitness level. It’s a simple way to boost your health and manage diabetes risk.

Read More: Key Differences Between Diabetologists And Endocrinologists?


In conclusion, prediabetes serves as a pivotal warning sign, offering an opportunity to take charge of one’s health before the onset of type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes, regular physical activity, weight loss, smoking cessation, cholesterol management, and stress reduction play crucial roles in reversing prediabetes naturally. Medication may be considered if lifestyle changes prove insufficient, emphasizing the importance of proactive health management in preventing diabetes complications.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Does prediabetes require medication?

Prediabetes typically doesn’t require medication initially; lifestyle changes suffice. However, if lifestyle modifications aren’t effective or if other risk factors are present, medication might be considered.

Can you live a normal life with prediabetes?

With proper management, individuals with prediabetes can lead normal lives. Healthy lifestyle habits, such as balanced diet, exercise, and regular check-ups, are crucial for maintaining health.

Is prediabetes curable?

Prediabetes can often be reversed through lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and weight loss. Early intervention and consistent healthy habits can help prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

What is the best treatment for prediabetes?

The best treatment for prediabetes involves lifestyle modifications like healthy eating, regular exercise, weight management, and avoiding smoking. These measures improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its complications.

Can a prediabetic become normal?

Yes, many individuals with prediabetes can return to normal blood sugar levels with lifestyle changes. Weight loss, healthy eating, and regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, potentially preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.

What is prediabetes HbA1c?

Prediabetes HbA1c is a measure of average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. It’s typically used to diagnose prediabetes when levels fall between 5.7% and 6.4%. Monitoring HbA1c levels helps assess the effectiveness of prediabetes management strategies.

How long can prediabetes last?

Prediabetes can last for years if left untreated, but it’s reversible with lifestyle changes. The duration varies depending on individual factors such as genetics, lifestyle habits, and overall health. Early intervention and consistent healthy habits can prevent or delay the progression to type 2 diabetes.


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