Islets of Hope for persons with prediabetes

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Article disclaimer

Article by Lahle Wolfe, 03/25/2006.  For reprint information e-mail


American Diabetes Association: What is prediabetes?

NIH Publication:  Insulin Resistance and Pre-diabetes

Confused?  See our Chart Comparison between Insulin Resistance, Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS), Prediabetes, Types 1 and 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes detailing the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of these major metabolic disorders.

Lifestyle Changes -  Diet, Exercise, Sports, Stress Management

Did You Know?

... that the diabetes drug Glucophage (metformin), a biguanide, reduced the risk of diabetes in those with prediabetes but was less successful than simply losing weight and increasing activity? (NIH DPP Study) See our Lifestyles section to learn how you can improve your health without medication.

... that prediabetes can be reversed without insulin or medication by losing a modest amount of weight and increasing your physical activity?  

... that an international expert committee of the American Diabetes Association recently redefined the criteria for prediabetes, lowering the blood sugar level cut-off point for pre-diabetes?

metabolic syndrome survival guide 
Metabolic Syndrome Survival Guide

the metabolic syndrome
 The Metabolic Syndrome

overcoming metabolic syndrome
Overcoming Metabolic Syndrome

the insulin resistance diet
The Insulin Resistance Diet

Life Without Bread
Life Without Bread


Stopping prediabetes in its tracks: Weight loss and exercise can turn condition around  (A resource and information article on pre-diabetes by MSNBC)

GlucoMenu Online Diabetes Support Forum for Pre-Diabetes & Diabetes


islets of hope diabetes medical library                        main Medical Information page
Metabolic disorders                                                                               
  main Metabolic Disorders page

Treatment and prognosis for prediabetes (or, pre-diabetes)
previously known as impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)

Treatment for prediabetes and insulin resistance

Prognosis:  Can you reverse insulin resistance?  Yes!


IOH Health Tip:   Those with prediabetes, who do nothing about it, will most likely develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years of being diagnosed with prediabetes.  But by making healthy changes in your lifestyle now you can reduce this risk significantly, and may even be able to completely reverse prediabetes by "retraining" your body how to properly use its own insulin.  

                   low gi guide to metabolic disorders
Prediabetes                  The New Glucose Revolution Pocket Guide to Metabolic Syndrome

Treatment for prediabetes and insulin resistance

Prediabetes and insulin resistance are both initially treated through lifestyle changes: weight loss, exercise, and quitting smoking if you smoke. Persons with prediabetes may benefit from a diet low in fats and processed carbohydrates, or from following a low glycemic diet.

Sometimes oral medications are prescribed for insulin sensitization, however, studies show that weight loss and exercise are more effective at stopping and reversing prediabetes than oral medications.  Even if you are prescribed medication it is still important that you control your weight, exercise, and eat healthy foods.  

Can prediabetes and insulin resistance be reversed?  Yes!

Prediabetes is not diabetes.  And yes, it can often be reversed if you take prediabetes seriously, and make lifestyle modifications as recommended by your doctor.  Major studies have shown that changes in lifestyle, and the oral insulin sensitizing drug Glucophage, can not only reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but many persons with prediabetes can restore blood glucose to normal ranges when the body can be "retrained" to use its own insulin properly again.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a 3-year study called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and published encouraging results in February 2002.  The study, using persons from 27 clinical centers throughout the U.S., focused on  patients with prediabetes who were at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and the effects of weight loss, exercise, behavior modification, and the medication Glucophage (metformin).  The study separated patients into three groups:  (1) Lifestyle Intervention (those that exercised, learned healthier eating habits and behavior modification), (2) those who only took Glucophage, and (3) the placebo group.

The study results showed that lifestyle changes (the Lifestyle Intervention group) could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% in the group that received intensive nutritional education, exercised 150 minutes per week, and lost weight.  Those age 60 and over in this group reduced their risk by an impressive by 71%!

Participants that made no lifestyle changes but took Glucophage (metformin) reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 31%.  This DPP study also showed that:

  • Glucophage worked for both women and men
  • Was least effecting in persons 45 years of age and older
  • Was most effective for the age group 25-44 years
  • And was most effective for persons at least 60 lbs overweight or with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher.
  • 7.8% of those taking Glucophage still went on to develop type 2 diabetes during the 3-year study, which was lower than the placebo group (11% in the placebo group developed type 2 diabetes)

Counting Carbs, Calories, Fat, Protein or Fiber?

   Item #:  AC350, For carb-counting dieters, this helpful kitchen tool eliminates the guesswork!  Carb-Tracker Nutrition Scale (As of 12/29/05 the scale was on sale  for $39.95

 The Sharper Image Logo Click to Visit The Sharper Image

Read our review on The Sharper Image's Carb-Tracker Scale.  If you count carbs (or calories, fat, protein, and fiber) the scale is valuable for fine tuning your diet.  You weigh food items, enter a food code and voile!  Based on the weight of the food the exact nutritional count appears magically.  The scale has become a daily part of my carb counting for myself as well as Elizabeth (my daughter with type 1).  I was skeptical, but found the weight of fruit and vegetables varies considerably and knowing a more exact carb count has helped us both.  If you wish to purchase the scale, click on the The Sharper Image Logo button above.  From their main page simply enter in the search code item #:  AC350, or, Carb-Tracker Nutrition Scale.


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Page Updated 09/01/2006