Published: November, 2019
QUESTION: My doctor recently told me I have prediabetes. Is this condition reversible?
ANSWER: Yes, it is possible to reverse prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition that affects millions of Americans.
The CDC estimates that as many as one in every three American adults has the condition, which is defined as having blood sugar that is elevated, but not high enough to meet the threshold for diabetes.
Left untreated, prediabetes can progress to diabetes, a condition in which your body is not able to absorb glucose for energy properly, causing blood sugar to rise.
If it's not managed properly, diabetes can lead to a number of health problems, from heart attack and stroke to blindness, kidney problems, and infections, among others.
But making some lifestyle changes can reduce the risk that your prediabetes will develop into diabetes.
One of the best ways to lower your blood sugar if you have prediabetes is to lose weight, if you are overweight.
The CDC advises reducing your body weight by 5% to 7%, which is a modest amount of weight loss for most people.
Other steps that can help are getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week and adopting a healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats and low in sugar.
While lifestyle changes can be successful in reversing prediabetes, one of the things that makes this condition challenging is that as many as 90% of people with prediabetes aren't aware they have it.
So, people with risk factors for diabetes — such as overweight or obesity, a family history of diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle — may want to get tested.