Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “pre-diabetes” – blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. It is an golden opportunity, you can prevent diabetes at this stage by life style modification.

Plasma Glucose Result (mg/dL)Diagnosis
99 or belowNormal
100 to 125Pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose)
126 or aboveDiabetes*
*Confirmed by repeating the test on a different day.
2-Hour Plasma Glucose Result (mg/dL)Diagnosis
139 and belowNormal
140 to 199Pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance)
200 and aboveDiabetes*
*Confirmed by repeating the test on a different day.

Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during pre-diabetes. Research has also shown that if you take action to manage your blood glucose when you have pre-diabetes, you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes from ever developing. There is a lot you can do yourself to know your risks for pre-diabetes and to take action to prevent diabetes if you have, or are at risk for, pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is a serious medical condition that can be treated.

The good news is that the people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. They may even be able to return their blood glucose levels to the normal range.

[1] Making Healthy Food Choices

i. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Try picking from the rainbow of colors available to maximize variety. Eat non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, broccoli or green beans with meals.
ii. Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products. Try brown rice with your stir fry or whole wheat spaghetti with your favorite pasta sauce.
iii. Include dried beans (like kidney or pinto beans) and lentils into your meals.
iv. Include fish in your meals 2-3 times a week.
v. Choose lean meats like cuts of beef and pork that end in “loin” such as pork loin and sirloin. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
vi. Choose non-fat dairy such as skim milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese.
vii. Choose water and calorie-free “diet” drinks instead of regular soda, fruit punch, sweet tea and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
viii. Choose liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats that can be high in saturated and trans fats. Remember that fats are high in calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, watch your portion sizes of added fats.
ix. Cut back on high calorie snack foods and desserts like chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream.
x. Eating too much of even healthful foods can lead to weight gain. Watch your portion sizes.

[2] Regular Exercise

Physical activity can lower your blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure, and cholesterol. It also reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke, relieves stress, and strengthens your heart, muscles, and bones. In addition, regular activity helps insulin work better, improves your blood circulation, and keeps your joints flexible. If you’re trying to lose weight, a combination of physical activity and wise food choices can help you reach your target weight and maintain it. All of these benefits can be yours even if you haven’t been very active before.

A comprehensive physical activity routine includes three kinds of activities:

i. Aerobic Exercise
ii. Strength Training
iii. Flexibility Exercises

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, works your muscles, and raises your breathing rate. For most people, it’s best to aim for a total of about 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. If you haven’t been very active recently, you can start out with 5 or 10 minutes a day and work up to more time each week. Or split up your activity for the day — try a brisk 10-minute walk after each meal. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to exercise more than 30 minutes a day. Here are some examples of aerobic exercise:

i. Take a brisk walk (outside or inside on a treadmill)
ii. Go dancing
iii. Take a low-impact aerobics class
iv. Swim or do water aerobic exercises
v. Try ice-skating or roller-skating
vi. Play tennis
vii. Stationary bicycle indoors

Strength Training

Strength training, done several times a week, helps build strong bones and muscles and makes everyday chores like carrying groceries easier for you. With more muscle, you burn more calories, even at rest. Here are some ways to do it:

i. Join a class to do strength training with weights, elastic bands, or plastic tubes
ii. Lift light weights at home

Flexibility Exercises/Yoga/Pranayam

Flexibility exercises, also called stretching, help keep your joints flexible and reduce your chances of injury during other activities. Gentle stretching for 5 to 10 minutes helps your body warm up and get ready for aerobic activities such as walking or swimming. Your health care team can provide information on how to stretch.

i. Learn about yoga and Pranayam

Being Active Throughout The Day

In addition to formal exercise, there are many opportunities to be active throughout the day. Being active helps burns calories. The more you move around, the more energy you’ll have. These strategies can help you increase your activity level:

i. Walk instead of drive whenever possible
ii. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
iii. Work in the garden, rake leaves, or do some housecleaning every day
iv. Park at the far end of the shopping center lot and walk to the store