Prediabetes Medication


In prediabetes, the affected person’s blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough for the condition to be diagnosed as a full-fledged case of type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body either becomes resistant to the effect of insulin or the pancreas do not produce enough insulin that is required to keep the blood sugar levels stabilized. But what differentiates prediabetes from diabetes is the fact that the former is reversible, unlike the later. The main treatment for this is to follow a healthy life-style, which mainly encompasses a healthy diet, and regular physical activities. Some people may even require the help of medication, depending upon the nature of the condition.

Prediabetes Treatment

As I have mentioned, the primary treatment for people with prediabetes is a diligent practice to keep up with a healthy diet, and regular exercise. However, some people may be at a stage where the risk to develop type 2 diabetes is so high, that merely following a diet or exercise regimen, may not be good enough for reducing the risk. So they may require the aid of medication. The medication becomes more important if the affected person is also suffering from cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease or polycystic ovary syndrome. The most common drugs that may be prescribed include metformin (Glucophage) and acarbose (Precose). Now before proceeding any further, it should be notified that there is no standard medication for prediabetes. The ones that have been mentioned here are used for the treatment for type 2 diabetes. And that is why they are also helpful in treating prediabetes thus, they are inappropriately known as prediabetes medication.

Metformin (Glucophage)
Speaking of the medicine metformin (Glucophage), it works by reducing the level of blood sugar made by the liver, and also that absorbed by the body. To add to this, it helps in making the insulin receptors more sensitive. So by doing this, the body is aided to respond well to whatever insulin production it has. The advantage of this medication over other drugs is, it does nothing to increase the secretion of insulin in the body. And this lessens the risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

The common side effects that it may cause include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Digestive problems
  • Discomfort in the abdominal region
  • Headache

Acarbose (Precose)
Another prescription drug is what is known as acarbose (Precose). This medication acts in the body by slowing down the processing of carbohydrates that are received from food. So, this prevents the blood sugar levels from spiking up, which usually happens after meals. In some cases, the condition may be so severe that, this drug has to be used in conjunction with other diabetes medication.

The common side effects may include:

  • Pain in the abdominal region
  • Flatulence
  • Digestive problem such as diarrhea

Prediabetes Symptoms

In most cases, there are no signs or symptoms of this disorder. However, this is one symptom though, which may signal the development of this condition. This symptom is characterized by the skin of the neck, armpit, elbows, knees and knuckles developing darkened areas. For your information, symptoms of increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision may indicate type 2 diabetes.

So in absence of symptoms, people must be aware of the risk factors which may make them vulnerable to develop prediabetes. And some of these factors may include:

  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Being more than 45 years old
  • Leading an inactive lifestyle
  • Having suffered from gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Suffering from hypertension
  • High cholesterol and triglyceride levels

To determine the prediabetes blood sugar levels, there are two common tests that are performed. In one test, the patient is asked to fast for at least eight hours, or overnight. After that, if his blood sugar level shows a measure from 100 to 125 mg/dL, then he may be diagnosed with the disorder.

In the other test too, the patient has to fast for the same time, and his blood sample is collected. However, thereafter, he is given a sugary solution, two hours after which his blood sugar level is tested again. A measure of something between 140 to 199 mg/dL indicates the development of prediabetes.

The healthy lifestyle that I was talking about consists of a diet that is low in fat and calories, and high in fiber, 30-60 minutes of exercise a week, and maintaining healthy weight. If these three factors are looked into, as I said, diligently, then the risk of type 2 diabetes can be significantly reduced, without the help of any kind of medicines whatsoever.


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