Is It Possible To Reverse Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person's blood sugar is higher than normal. It is often a precursor of type 2 diabetes and increases the risk of a number of health problems including heart disease and stroke. About one in three American adults, or 88 million people, have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most people don't experience symptoms of prediabetes so the condition often goes undetected until more serious issues like type 2 diabetes arise.

While the condition may sound scary, the good news is that it is possible to reverse prediabetes naturally through lifestyle changes (via Medical News Today). One of the first steps to take is to lose weight. Even a modest amount of weight loss can make a big difference. According to the CDC, losing just 5 to 7% of your body weight reduces your risk of health complications from prediabetes. For a 200-pound person that means losing 10 to 14 pounds.

Lifestyle changes to reverse prediabetes

In addition to weight loss, there are a number of other lifestyle changes that can help reverse prediabetes. Getting regular physical activity is extremely important (via Mayo Clinic). You should aim to exercise for 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day. Maintain a healthy diet, focusing on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, so if you use tobacco it's important to quit. Limiting alcohol intake and managing stress will also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It's also important to manage other health-related disorders like high cholesterol and high blood pressure (via Cleveland Clinic). If your doctor has prescribed you medications to treat these conditions, make sure you take them as directed. If you're high risk, your doctor may also prescribe a drug like metformin, a diabetes medication, to treat prediabetes. Work with your healthcare provider to come up with the best treatment plan for you.