Prediabetes has blood sugar levels significantly higher than average but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Typical Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels are from 126mg/dl or 7mmol/L and above, while blood sugar levels between 100 and 125mg/dL or 5.6 and 6.9mmol/L are diagnosed as Prediabetes. This condition affects over 96 million American adults. Of this number, approximately 80% do not know that they have it—more than 1 in 3 American adults living with Prediabetes without having a single idea that they do.
There are warning signs to look out for, including increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, fatigue, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, recurring infections, and slow healing sores. If these symptoms are ignored and not treated on time, they can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes.
However, Prediabetes is only a precursor to diabetes, and if detected on time, this condition can be reversed. This is not a complicated process. It is possible to reverse Prediabetes naturally by modifying your diet and employing some lifestyle changes; this will be explained in just five steps.
1. Adopt A Healthier Diet
Adopting a healthy eating habit is one step in helping to reverse Prediabetes. A diet high in processed foods puts you at significant risk of having this condition, so these foods must be avoided. Studies show that having a diet plan which consists of low fat and reduced calories is key to losing weight and preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes. Incorporating foods like vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, healthy fats such as avocado and fish, and fruits with complex carbs is essential. These are examples of foods that consist of said low fats and reduced calories.
Adopting a healthier diet comes with the responsibility of when you eat, which is also a significant factor in your blood′s sugar management system. At night, your body tends to break down sugar stored in the liver and energy stored in the fat cells, so midnight snacking either has to go or should be considerably reduced. Dieticians commonly suggest taking 11 to 12-hour breaks from food at night to give the body a chance to break down the sugars consumed during the day.
2. Exercise Regularly
The next thing to do on your journey to reversing Prediabetes is to exercise regularly. And it doesn’t have to be high-intensity workouts as that can negatively impact your condition, but for light exercises such as walking. Taking 5-10 minute walks on some days of the week can go a long way.
As fat is lost and muscle is gained, that muscle can become insulin sensitive, resulting in a better reduction of blood glucose. According to University of Missouri studies, exercise can help you maintain your blood glucose levels for up to 48 hours after you stop. Still, the benefits of this exercise are not long-lasting as they disappear in just 48 to 72 hours of not exercising. So, consistency is key here.
3. Lose That Excess Weight
Exercising regularly also comes with the added benefit of helping you shed that excess fat which is key to reversing Prediabetes. Losing 5 to 10% of your body fat will significantly lower your blood sugar levels.
A recent study showed that in the six months following a Prediabetes diagnosis, people who dropped roughly 10% of their body weight reduced their chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 85% during the next three years. For those who lost about 7% of their body weight, the risk dropped to 54%. This shows that exercising regularly and eating well come together to benefit you by losing weight, which will help you reverse your Prediabetes.
4. Relax And Ease Your Stress
Stress is never a good thing, and it is an even worse thing for people living with diabetes or Prediabetes as it causes the body to release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones make it harder for the insulin in your body to function correctly, eventually leading to an increase in your blood sugar levels.
Experiencing stress for a long time can lead to diabetic complications, so the time has to be taken for relaxation, which can help you manage your stress levels. Exercising, Yoga and Meditation are also great ways of managing stress; it also doesn’t harm to talk to someone about what you might be going through.
5. Create A Diabetes Management Plan
Having a diabetes management plan is one of the best ways to reverse Prediabetes. With the help of a dietician or nutritionist or getting yourself a Diabetes Management Planner, you can achieve success. A great example of this is the Klinio Diabetes Management App. In this age of modern technology, creating a plan suited for you without the hassle of going to a hospital can be helpful. The American Diabetes Association even recommends that one sign up with a dietician or enroll in any effective diabetes management program.
Prediabetes is a condition that is not to be taken lightly as it can quickly progress into Type 2 Diabetes which can lead to further complications if left untreated. Reversing Prediabetes is very much possible if you adhere to these five steps and follow through on the various lifestyle and diet changes you make, as the aim of all of this is to get your blood sugar levels to a healthy range.
However, reversing your Prediabetes doesn’t put you in the clear and gives you free rein to return to your old diet because your pancreas will always be compromised. But maintaining a healthy lifestyle will always keep your sugar levels in check.