Having prediabetes does not necessarily mean you’re destined to develop the full-blown version of the disease. But to avoid diabetes down the road, you’ll likely have to make some lifestyle changes now.

How the body normally works: Diabetes affects how the body uses blood sugar (glucose), which is vital to health because it’s the main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and virtually all tissues in the body. During digestion, sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Normally, sugar then enters cells with the help of insulin. The hormone insulin comes from the pancreas, a gland just behind the stomach. When a person eats, the pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. As insulin circulates, it allows sugar to enter the cells and lowers the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.

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