How to reverse prediabetes
What is prediabetes?
Roughly 84 million Americans have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which could ultimately increase your chance of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or stroke. Type 2 diabetes is different than type 1 diabetes, a condition where individuals do not produce insulin. You have prediabetes, a condition where your glucose levels are not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes, but higher than normal.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), you have prediabetes when:
• your Hemoglobin A1C reading is between 5.7-6.4 percent
• your fasting blood sugar is between 100 -125 mg/dl
• your oral glucose tolerance test 2 hour blood sugar reading between 140 mg/dl-199 mg/dl
A diagnosis of prediabetes generally suggests insulin resistance, so your body does not use insulin properly. Insulin regulates the body's storage and usage of fat and sugar.
You are considered to have prediabetes if your blood glucose is between 100 and 125 mg/dl on a few fasting blood sugar tests, or if your numbers fall between 5.7percent and 6.4percent on an AIC test that measures your average blood glucose levels for the previous two to three months.
A prediabetes diagnosis can seem frightening. The great news is reversing prediabetes is possible. With simple diet and lifestyle changes, you can prevent it from progressing to type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is where your blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. The prediabetes cause is unknown, but it is related to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance your cells stop responding to the hormone insulin. The pancreas produces insulin, allowing sugar (glucose) to enter cells. When your body does not properly use insulin, sugar can accumulate in your blood.
Prediabetes does not always cause symptoms, even though some folks develop darkening around the armpits, skin, neck, and elbows. A simple blood test can diagnose prediabetes, such as a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test. Outcomes between 100 and 125 can indicate prediabetes.
Your doctor may also use an A1C test, which tracks your blood glucose over three months. Test results in the range of 5.7 and 6.4 percent may also indicate prediabetes. A prediabetes diagnosis, however, does not mean you'll develop type 2 diabetes. Many people have successfully reversed prediabetes by changing their diet and way of life.
Diet & lifestyle changes to reverse prediabetes
Your ideal treatment for prediabetes can start with professional advice from an expert who can guide you in diet and lifestyle changes.
- Work with a dietitian
Knowing what to eat when with prediabetes can be complicated. Even if your physician makes dietary suggestions, it helps consult a registered dietitian (RD). An RD can offer nutritional advice and advice on which foods to eat and which to avoid. They can help with a meal plan specific to your condition and give other practical strategies to keep a wholesome diet. The purpose is to stabilize blood glucose.
- Know Your Carbs
All carbohydrates are ultimately broken down to sugar in your blood. So whether you are eating carbs in the kind of donuts, pasta, or whole grain bread, it breaks down to sugar for your cells to use. That doesn't mean that you should eat cake rather than quinoa because not all carbohydrates are created equal. There are three main types of carbohydrates:
- Simple carbohydrates are fast-acting carbohydrates that cause an immediate increase in blood glucose. These are found in foods such as fruits, juices, maple syrups, milk, yogurt, and honey.
- Processed carbohydrates are also fast-acting carbohydrates. These are plant-based, processed foods that have had the entire grain removed during processing.
- Complex carbohydrates are those carbohydrates that take longer for our body to break down and are absorbed into the system more slowly. This property helps to keep blood sugar stable. Examples of complex carbohydrates include most vegetables, whole grains (unprocessed!), and beans.
- Eat fewer carbohydrates
Even if you're dedicated to healthy eating, it is important to pick your carbohydrates carefully. You will also need to consume fewer of certain carbohydrates to help reverse prediabetes. For the most part, you need to consume unprocessed complex carbohydrates. These include veggies, whole grains, and legumes. These carbs are full of fiber that make you full longer. They also absorb into your body at a slower pace. This action helps stop blood sugar spikes.
- Eat a healthy diet
One risk factor for prediabetes is that a diet high in processed foods, which have added fats, calories, and sugar without nutritional value. A diet high in red meat also increases your risk. Eating a healthy diet, which is made up of healthy choices, helps restore normal glucose levels. This habit can also reverse prediabetes. Contain low fat and low-calorie foods in your daily diet. These include fruits with complex carbohydrates, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, healthy fats, like fish and avocado.
- Spread carbs intake during the day.
For best use, the body and brain take a steady flow of energy throughout the day. It's essential to fulfill these needs systematically, without causing extreme changes in blood sugar. Therefore, consuming carbohydrate-containing foods in small to moderate quantities consistently throughout the day is beneficial in maintaining energy levels and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Skipping meals is frustrated on a constant carbohydrate eating regimen, particularly if weight control is also a target. Ideally, snacks or meals should be eaten about every 3-4 hours.
- Pair carb-rich foods with protein.
The best elevations in blood glucose are observed after eating snacks or meals made mostly of high-carbohydrate food/beverage choices. Such snacks and meals also make blood sugar unstable, and blood glucose levels often start to drop rapidly after just a couple of hours. This cycle can lead to episodes of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. Moreover, carbohydrate-only snacks and meals are related to sudden fatigue, headaches, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, and early hunger sensations. Including a protein source into a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack regulates the digestive process, reduces any important variations in blood glucose levels, and quells hunger cues.
- Reduce 5-7 % of Your Body Weight
When you've got a whole lot of weight to lose, it is daunting to consider the job it will take to drop all of it. Setting a goal of 5-7 percent makes losing weight seem more manageable. Weight loss will decrease inflammation, which is a symptom of insulin resistance. One advantage of a regular exercise regimen is that it helps you lose excess weight. Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of body fat can improve your blood glucose level and help reverse prediabetes. For some individuals, this is roughly 10 to 20 lbs. Insulin resistance increases when you've got a larger waist size, also. (35 in or more for women, 40 in or more for men).
Healthful eating and a regular exercise regimen are both keys to losing weight. You may take other steps, also. This may include getting a gym membership, working with a private trainer, or an accountability buddy, including a friend or relative. Additionally, it may help eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big meals.
- Physical activity
Exercise is an important component of the prediabetes reversal plan. If you're prediabetic, it is especially useful to get moving. Your muscles use up some extra blood sugar, which can help you shed weight and use the insulin that your body produces more efficiently. Exercise regularly
Lack of physical activity can increase the risk of prediabetes. Exercise isn't just perfect for energy and psychological health. It may also reduce your blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. This effect permits the cells in your body to use insulin more effectively. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), exercise can decrease blood sugar for up to 24 hours post-workout.
Start slow if starting a new exercise regime. Participate in light physical activity for 15 or 20 minutes, then slowly increase the workouts' intensity and duration after a couple of days. You will want to have 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity five or more days per week. Exercises can include walking, biking, swimming, aerobics, or playing sports.
- Include more vegetables in your diet
When planning your meal, begin with vegetables and do not stop until they take up half the space on your plate. Vegetables have a lot of fibers to help handle the amount of sugar in your system. Besides, they are high in minerals and vitamins, which help your body function better.
- Drink more water
Drinking water is another superb way to help reverse prediabetes and protect against type 2 diabetes. Water helps control blood sugar levels, and it's also a healthy substitute for sodas and fruit juices. Those beverages are generally high in sugar.
- Stop smoking
Many are aware of smoking to increase the risk of lung cancer. Smoking can also increase your risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes.
- Heal sleep apnea
Bear in mind that sleep apnea was associated with insulin resistance. With this condition, breathing stops during the night repeatedly because of the relaxation of the throat muscles. Signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, waking up with a headache, and daytime sleepiness. Treatment generally involves the use of an oral appliance while asleep to keep the throat open.
Discuss with your doctor
Though some individuals reverse prediabetes with lifestyle changes, this may not be enough for everybody. If your blood sugar does not improve, and you are at high risk for developing diabetes, your physician might prescribe medication.mMedicines to help lower blood glucose and inverse prediabetes include metformin or a similar medication. Metformin can decrease the risk of diabetes by up to 30 percent, according to research. It may also lower your appetite, which may help you to lose weight, too.
Prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes. Talk with your physician if you develop some early signs of diabetes. A prediabetes diagnosis will warrant you to take quick action to try and reverse the problem. Getting your blood glucose into a healthy range is crucial. Make adjustments to your lifestyle and work with your physician to help control your blood glucose. You will feel better, and you will help prevent diabetes.
1. Blood sugar and exercise. (n.d.). diabetes.org/fitness/get-and-stay-fit/getting-started-safely/blood-glucose-and-exercise
2. Hill C. (2017). Five lifestyle changes you can make to help reverse prediabets. intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2017/05/5-lifestyle-changes-help-reverse-prediabetes/
3. Joshi R. (2018). Taking steps to reverse prediabetes. pinnaclehealth.org/wellness-library/blog-and-healthwise/blog-home/post/taking-steps-to-reverse-pre-diabetes
4. Nasri H, et al. (2014). Metformin: Current knowledge. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4214027/
5. Prediabetes. (2020). mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prediabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355278
6. American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org.
7. Rhodes T. (2019). Four diet changes that can help reverse prediabetes. pinnaclehealth.org/wellness-library/blog-and-healthwise/blog-home/post/four-diet-changes-that-can-help-reverse-pre-diabetes
8. American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2009. Diabetes Care. 2009;32:S13-61.
9. AskMayoExpert. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (adult). Mayo Clinic; 2018.
10. Insulin resistance and prediabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance.
11. Kliegman RM, et al. Diabetes mellitus in children. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 6, 2019.
12. Andes LJ, et al. Prevalence of prediabetes among adolescents and young adults in the United States, 2005-2016. JAMA Pediatrics. 2019; doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4498.
13. Walls RM, et al., eds. Diabetes mellitus and disorders of glucose homeostasis. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com.
14. Edwards CM, et al. Prediabetes — A worldwide epidemic. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America. 2016; doi:10.1016/j.ecl.2016.06.007.
15. Robertson RP. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search.