What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes presents a significant health concern characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, falling above normal but below the threshold for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 98 million American adults, constituting over a third of the population, are affected by prediabetes. Alarmingly, more than 80% of individuals with prediabetes remain unaware of their condition.

This condition escalates the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, alongside heightened susceptibility to heart disease and stroke.

Effective management of prediabetes can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its associated complications. Utilize evidence-based treatment strategies to prevent disease progression and improve overall health outcomes.


Prediabetes primarily stems from two interrelated factors: insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. Insulin resistance occurs when the body's cells become less responsive to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, glucose uptake into cells is hindered, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, impaired glucose tolerance refers to the body's diminished ability to process glucose efficiently, often resulting in prolonged periods of elevated blood sugar following meals.

These physiological dysfunctions can be attributed to various factors such as genetic predisposition, lifestyle choices, and environmental influences. Sedentary lifestyles, excessive calorie consumption, and obesity contribute to insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. Additionally, hormonal imbalances, certain medications, and underlying health conditions may exacerbate these mechanisms, further predisposing individuals to prediabetes.

Prediabetes risk factors

Numerous factors heighten the likelihood of developing prediabetes, reflecting the complex interplay between genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors. Obesity is a prominent risk factor, particularly abdominal obesity, characterized by excess visceral fat, which is strongly associated with insulin resistance. Inactivity exacerbates this risk, as physical exercise plays a crucial role in enhancing insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.

Dietary habits also exert a significant influence, with diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, and saturated fats increasing the risk of prediabetes. Conversely, diets rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins may mitigate this risk. A family history of diabetes underscores genetic susceptibility to prediabetes, emphasizing the importance of early screening and preventive measures.

Age represents another risk factor, with prediabetes prevalence increasing with advancing age, likely due to age-related changes in metabolism and lifestyle habits. Furthermore, certain medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), gestational diabetes, and metabolic syndrome confer additional risk, warranting heightened vigilance and preventive interventions in affected individuals.


Prediabetes poses a significant health threat, with potentially dire consequences if left unchecked. If untreated, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes, marking a pivotal transition in metabolic health. Type 2 diabetes entails chronic hyperglycemia, placing individuals at heightened risk of microvascular and macrovascular complications.

Cardiovascular disease stands as the foremost complication, encompassing conditions such as coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, and peripheral vascular disease.

Printable Prediabetes Treatment Guidelines

Download this Prediabetes Treatment Guidelines that provides a structured framework for documenting prediabetes treatment plans.

Diagnosing diabetes

Diabetes diagnosis typically involves blood tests to measure blood glucose levels. These tests are usually arranged by your GP and are confirmed through laboratory results. Results are generally available within a few days after the blood test.

Prediabetes Treatment Guidelines

Adopting lifestyle modifications is pivotal in managing prediabetes effectively. These changes encompass various aspects of daily life, including dietary habits, physical activity levels, and weight management strategies.

Dietary changes

Central to prediabetes management is the cultivation of a balanced and nutritious diet. Emphasizing whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can promote stable blood sugar levels and support overall health. Conversely, reducing the intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and refined carbohydrates is essential in preventing spikes in blood glucose. By making informed dietary choices, individuals can positively influence their metabolic health and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Regular exercise

Physical activity plays a pivotal role in the prevention and management of prediabetes. Engaging in regular exercise not only helps control weight but also enhances insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by muscles. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, supplemented with strength training and flexibility exercises. By incorporating diverse forms of exercise into your routine, you can optimize metabolic function and improve overall well-being.

Weight management

Effective weight management is a cornerstone of prediabetes management, particularly for individuals who are overweight or obese. A modest 5-10% weight loss can significantly improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic parameters. Sustainable lifestyle changes such as portion control, mindful eating, and regular physical activity can facilitate gradual weight loss and contribute to long-term health outcomes.

Medication therapy

In some cases, medication therapy may be warranted to complement lifestyle modifications and reduce the risk of disease progression. Metformin, a commonly prescribed medication for prediabetes, helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.

Monitoring and follow-up

Regular monitoring and follow-up are essential components of prediabetes management to assess treatment efficacy and ensure adherence to therapeutic interventions. Monitoring blood glucose levels regularly allows for timely adjustments to treatment plans and helps track progress toward glycemic targets.

How does the template work?

The template provides a structured framework for documenting prediabetes treatment plans. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Access the template

Begin by accessing the prediabetes treatment template provided by your healthcare facility or through an online platform.

Review the sections

Familiarize yourself with the different sections of the template, including areas for documenting recommended treatments, diagnostic methods, and relevant ICD and/or CPT codes.

Diagnostic methods

Utilize the template to document the diagnostic methods employed for assessing prediabetes in the patient. This may include details about blood glucose tests, A1C tests, oral glucose tolerance tests, and other relevant diagnostic procedures.

Treatment recommendations

Refer to the template to outline the recommended treatments for managing prediabetes in the patient. This section may include lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes, exercise regimens, and weight management strategies.

Medication therapy

If medication therapy is deemed necessary based on the patient's risk profile and clinical status, document the prescribed medications in the appropriate section of the template. Include details about the medication name, dosage, frequency, and duration of treatment.

Monitoring and follow-up

The template outlines the schedule for monitoring the patient's progress and conducting follow-up assessments. This may involve regular blood glucose monitoring, periodic reassessment of treatment goals, and adjustments to the treatment plan as needed.

ICD and/or CPT codes

Ensure the template includes space for documenting relevant ICD and CPT codes associated with prediabetes diagnosis and management. This information is essential for billing purposes and ensures accurate documentation of healthcare services.

Prediabetes Treatment Guidelines example:

We've developed a Prediabetes Treatment Guidelines PDF example to assist you in navigating the management of prediabetes in your patients. This example showcases a structured approach to outlining treatment recommendations based on individual patient assessments. You can review the sample below or download it as a PDF.

Download our free treatment guidelines for prediabetes example here

Prediabetes Treatment Guidelines example


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021, December 21). Prediabetes - Your Chance to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prediabetes.html#:~:text=What%20Is%20Prediabetes%3F

Should prediabetes be treated with medication?
Should prediabetes be treated with medication?

Commonly asked questions

Should prediabetes be treated with medication?

While lifestyle modifications are the cornerstone of prediabetes management, medication therapy such as metformin may be considered for individuals at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

What is the first line of treatment for prediabetes?

The first line of treatment for prediabetes involves lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes, regular exercise, and weight management to improve insulin sensitivity and prevent disease progression.

How can prediabetes be managed?

Prediabetes can be managed effectively through a combination of lifestyle modifications, medication therapy (if indicated), regular monitoring, and ongoing support from healthcare providers.

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