Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. It is reversible, unlike type 1 diabetes. People diagnosed with prediabetes who lose 5-7% of their body weight decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%, and by 71% if they are over the age of 60. Lifestyle change programs like the National Diabetes Prevention Program can help those diagnosed with prediabetes to lose weight and lower their risk.
- Type 1 diabetes: Occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. The cause is unknown.
- Type 2 diabetes: Occurs when cells fail to respond to insulin properly, which may lead to inadequate insulin production. It is the most common type of diabetes, and its primary cause is overweight or obesity and inadequate physical activity.
- Gestational diabetes: Occurs when pregnant women without a history of diabetes experience high blood sugar levels.
While everyone with diabetes can benefit from medically-assisted diet and exercise to help control blood sugar, type 2 diabetes is usually preventable with a healthy lifestyle. Preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce medical costs and improve quality of life.