I have been diagnosed with per-diabetes.It has scared me a lot. I want to know whether it is reversible.

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    Since no one can know what the cause of your prediabetes is, no one can answer this question authoritatively and so it will be closed. You need to generalise the question. Jul 5, 2018 at 6:04

1 Answer 1


From the American Diabetes Association:

“Prediabetes” is the term used for individuals with IFG and/or IGT and/or A1C 5.7–6.4% (39–47 mmol/mol). Prediabetes should not be viewed as a clinical entity in its own right but rather as an increased risk for diabetes (Table 2.3) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Prediabetes is associated with obesity (especially abdominal or visceral obesity), dyslipidemia with high triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol, and hypertension.

Source: American Diabetes Association: Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2017 Jan;40(Supplement 1) S11-S24. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc17-S005

Prediabetes means that you have higher risk of developing diabetes and is not a disease in itself. Symptoms are having impaired fasting glucose (IFT) or impaired glucose tolerance, and high glucose levels (the A1C test monitors that).

Although some treatment with medication is a short term option (do discuss with your general physician), but lifestyle changes and especially weight-loss has been found the best way to lower glucose levels and prevent diabetes mellitus:

Our results have shown that a reduction in diabetes cumulative incidence by either lifestyle intervention or metformin therapy persists for at least 10 years. Further follow-up will provide crucial data for long-term clinical outcomes, including mortality. In the next phase of the DPPOS, the primary objective is to assess intervention effects on a composite microvascular-neuropathic outcome for diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy, or reduced light touch sensation in the feet. Secondary outcomes include the individual components of the composite primary outcome, cardiovascular disease, further development of diabetes, measures of glycaemia, insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular disease risk factors, physical activity, nutrition, body-weight, health-related quality of life, and economic assessments. These data are needed because speculation about the long-term benefits on the basis of extrapolation of the DPP and other data by different authors have led to very different conclusions. The long-term reductions in bodyweight and diabetes are encouraging, but further quantification of long-term outcomes is crucial to establish the benefits of diabetes prevention.

Source: Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. 10-year follow-up of diabetes incidence and weight loss in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Lance. (Emphasis Mine)

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    Great evidence and overall correct, but I would disagree with "not a disease in itself." It's a little more nuanced than that, because prediabetes means that there is already a disease state in development: impaired glucose tolerance, on the spectrum of insulin resistance, a disease process in early stages. In Preventive Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine we view it as a medical condition, especially since on its own right prediabetes is a risk factor for CVD.
    – DoctorWhom
    Jul 4, 2018 at 18:09
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    We attack it as aggressively as diabetes in order to prevent progression of the insulin resistance, through DPP and other lifestyle modifications weight loss etc. Because yes, it is entirely possible to prevent or significantly delay progression to diabetes (in many cases). The DPP cited is one of many similar studies.
    – DoctorWhom
    Jul 4, 2018 at 18:10
  • @DoctorWhom Prediabetes should not be viewed as a clinical entity in its own right this is where I got the "not a disease in itself from". Maybe "isn't as irreversible as diabetes mellitus" is a better phrasing?
    – Narusan
    Jul 4, 2018 at 21:01
  • I realize the ADA says that, but I think it's more about the fact it isn't a separate condition from diabetes, it's on the spectrum of insulin resistance already... like prehypertension isn't a "disease" but it's a sign of decreased vascular compliance etc. Saying isn't as irreversible as DM2 sounds like you're saying it's a different disease process. I'd say prediabetes means the body is already developing insulin resistance, with a greatly increased risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes.
    – DoctorWhom
    Jul 5, 2018 at 20:05