Prediabetes: Take Control of Your Health

Adult prepping saladIt's easy to understand why so many people underestimate the consequences of prediabetes. After all, the name seems to imply that you're still okay. But those with prediabetes are already experiencing real damage to their heart caused by consistently higher than normal blood sugar levels. They're also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the next five years.

Type 2 diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., with serious consequences like heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, Alzheimer's Disease, and blindness. You may even lose your legs, feet, or toes. It can also be an expensive disease to treat, costing people with type 2 diabetes more than twice as much for health care.

Even when it is well-managed, type 2 diabetes can make you vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections, including cold, flu, and COVID-19. Nearly 1 in 10 adults in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with diabetes, and 34% have prediabetes—though at least 22% of those people haven't been diagnosed.

The good news is, taking control of your health is possible, and you don’t need to figure it out on your own. Support from your loved ones, guidance from a trusted healthcare provider, and lifestyle change programs in your community can give you the tools you need to reverse prediabetes.

You Can Prevent and Reverse Prediabetes

The first step? Finding out if you're at risk. Take the one-minute risk test to see if your medical history, daily habits, and other personal characteristics add up to a higher risk for prediabetes. One you know, you can take the next step toward better health. 

I'm At Risk for Prediabetes

Reduce Your Prediabetes Risk

Only your doctor can diagnose diabetes or prediabetes. If you have one or more risk factors for prediabetes, don't wait for symptoms. Take action right away.

  • Talk to your doctor about getting a simple blood sugar test.
  • Assess how you eat and how much you move each week.
  • Try adding a few new healthy habits to your daily routine.
  • If needed, set a reasonable and safe weight loss goal with the guidance of your health care provider or doctor.
  • Find people and programs that will support your progress.

I Have Prediabetes

What to Do After a Diagnosis

Now that you know, you can start making informed decisions about your health, and make small but important lifestyle changes that can improve your blood sugar levels and prevent type 2 diabetes.

  • Follow your doctor's guidelines, eat healthy, and exercise.
  • Talk to your friends and family about your condition and ask for their support.
  • Find out if there are any free or low-cost (lifestyle change programs) in your community.
  • Tap into online diabetes prevention organizations and support groups.
  • Make a plan to monitor your progress at home and with your health care team.


Join a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change Program

Making positive changes to your everyday habits isn't always easy, but you don't have to do it alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program is a proven lifestyle change program that can help. 

Close up of an older adult male

"What Is It, Exactly?"

It's not a fad diet, and no one will hand you a list of huge goals and then send you on your way. 
Instead, diabetes prevention lifestyle change programs:

  • Feature a year-long, CDC-approved curriculum with lessons and resources to help you make manageable, healthy changes.
  • Are led by a trained lifestyle coach in your community to help you learn new skills and keep you motivated.
  • Are made up of a supportive group of people who are also committed to building healthier habits.

Adult looking out a window

"Why Should I Join?"

Studies have shown that people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%, and as much as 71% if you're over age 60. In addition to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, diabetes prevention lifestyle change programs can:

  • Reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Improve overall health.
  • Boost energy levels and reduce stress. 

Woman walking with young child

"How Do I Get Started?"

There are several ways you can find the Lifestyle Change Program that’s right for you. 

  • Choose an in-person, online, or distance learning program from the map below.
  • Email or ask your employer if they provide any Lifestyle Change Programs through insurance. 
  • Review the Lifestyle Change Program’s referral criteria.



Find a Program Near You

Many organizations in Wisconsin offer free, low-cost and affordable CDC-recognized diabetes prevention programs, in person, via distance learning, and online. Interested in participating? You can join on your own or ask your doctor to refer you to a program in your area, and some employers and health insurance providers may support your participation, too. Use the map below to explore Wisconsin programs by location and learning experience (online, in-person, etc.), then get access to contact information for the programs that best fit your needs.


Woman exercising with weights

You Can Do This

With a little guidance and support, you can reverse or prevent prediabetes and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. Don't wait. Should you experience any difficulty accessing information on the map, or need more information to get in touch with a program near you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.



Explore Your Options

Now that you’ve learned a little more about reversing prediabetes, keep exploring. Learn about the dangerous myths that make prediabetes seem more harmless than it is, access educational resources, and more.

Last Revised: September 16, 2021