Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic. Without treatment, a pre-diabetic is likely to develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years or less.
A diagnosis of pre-diabetes gives the patient an opportunity to make lifestyle changes that can bring blood sugar down to normal levels, Mayo Clinic explains. A combination of regular exercise, weight loss, dietary changes and medication can keep pre-diabetes from worsening.
Although losing weight does not always prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes in a pre-diabetic, losing 5 to 10 percent of body weight can cut the risk for many, Mayo Clinic says. Doctors advise focusing on permanently changing dietary and activity habits. Diet should focus on more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Pre-diabetics should aim to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days. Resistance training is also beneficial.
A doctor may also prescribe medications to help stave off diabetes, especially if the patient is at high-risk for the condition, Mayo Clinic states. Risk factors include women who experienced gestational diabetes, patients younger than age 60 and those with a body mass index above 35.