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Having diabetes (“dy-ah-BEE-teez”) means the glucose (sugar) levels in your blood are too high. Diabetes is a chronic (long-term) condition.

You are more likely to get type 2 diabetes if you are overweight and inactive or if you have predicates. People with prediabetes have blood glucose levels higher than normal, but not enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 

Having prediabetes increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.


Diabetes is a leading cause of disability and death in the United States. The good news is that you can do a lot to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, including:

  • Watching your weight
  • Eating healthy
  • Staying active

Talk with your doctor or nurse about steps you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes.

What do I ask the doctor?

It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print out this list of questions, and take it with you the next time you visit the doctor. Take notes to help you remember your doctor's answers.

  • Am I at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes? 
  • Do you recommend that I get tested for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes?
  • Are there any warning signs of diabetes I should watch for?
  • Does my weight put me at risk for type 2 diabetes?
  • If I'm overweight, how much weight do I need to lose to lower my risk?
  • How much physical activity should I get to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes?
  • What changes can I make to my diet to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes?
  • What are some healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off?
  • What are my blood pressure numbers and cholesterol levels, and what should they be?
  • Do my blood pressure numbers and cholesterol levels put me at risk for type 2 diabetes?
  • Can you give me some information about preventing type 2 diabetes to take home with me?
  • Can you recommend a diabetes prevention program nearby?

What about cost?

Under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, insurance plans must cover:

  • Diabetes screening for adults with high blood pressure
  • Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease