Your doctor told you the news that you didn’t want to hear. If you have prediabetes, this blog is right for you.
If you are prediabetic and you know this information, you are one of the lucky minority. Being prediabetic is common in the United States, but only 10% know that they have it. Knowing you have a high risk of developing diabetes early can help you reverse it by making some lifestyle changes. In fact, the prediabetes stage is the best time to stop and reverse increasing blood sugar levels.
What is prediabetes
Prediabetes is a health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but lower than being considered diabetic. This condition is diagnosed when your fasting blood sugar level is between 100-125 mg/dl and a hemoglobin AIC reading is between 5.7-6.4 percent.
A prediabetes diagnosis usually means insulin resistance, which means your body isn’t using insulin properly. The purpose of insulin is to regulate your body’s storage and usage of sugar and fat.
Lifestyle Changes to Reverse Prediabetes Naturally
Here are seven steps to help reverse prediabetes at home. Adjust your lifestyle by adding a healthy diet, exercise, good sleep, and avoiding smoking.
1. Eat a clean diet
Consuming processed foods with high amounts of sugar, fats, and calories with no nutritional value is a significant risk factor for prediabetes. You should also limit the intake of red meat and incorporate low-calorie and low-fat foods into your diet. The foods suitable for reversing prediabetes include:
- Lean meats
- Healthy fats
- Whole grains
2. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly can promote reversing of prediabetes. That’s because it can lower your blood sugar by increasing your insulin sensitivity. This makes the cells in your body use insulin more effectively. On the other hand, lack of physical activity is another risk factor for prediabetes. So, engage in physical activity. Start with a 15-20 minutes workout and gradually increase the length and intensity of your exercise. Ideally, you should do moderate physical activity for 30-60 minutes at least 5 days a week. Physical activities can include:
- Playing sports
3. Lose Weight
Adding some pounds to your weight can be a risk factor in developing prediabetes. One benefit of doing regular physical activity is that it helps you lose excess weight. This can improve your blood sugar level and help reverse prediabetes.
Regular exercise and healthy eating are both critical to losing weight and help reverse prediabetes. Also, you might want to include 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day instead of consuming 3 large meals.
4. Stop smoking
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and insulin resistance. If you smoke, you are more at risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. To help quit smoking, you can talk to your doctor or use over-the-counter products like nicotine gum or patches.
5. Eat fewer carbs
Choosing what type of carbohydrates you consume is essential even if you’re eating healthy. Make sure to eat fewer certain carbs to help reverse prediabetes. You can eat complex and unprocessed carbs present in:
- Whole grains
These carbs can keep you full longer as they are rich in fiber, and they help prevent the rise of blood sugar levels.
Make sure to avoid simple carbs present in:
- Some fruits
You should also limit the intake of refined carbs like:
- White rice
- Pizza dough
- White bread
- Pasta pastries
- Breakfast cereals
6. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is an excellent way to help reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes. Water is a healthy substitute for sodas and fruit juices and helps control blood sugar levels.
7. Treat sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is linked with insulin resistance. Loud snoring, choking during sleep, and waking up with a headache are common signs of sleep apnea. So you should treat sleep apnea in order to help reverse prediabetes.
When to see your doctor
Prediabetes can turn into type 2 diabetes if not treated. Therefore, it’s crucial to monitor your symptoms and talk to your doctor about ways to reverse them.
The signs of diabetes include:
- Unusual hunger
- Increased urination
- Blurry vision
- Increased thirst
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, that doesn’t mean that you will develop type 2 diabetes. You can reverse the condition if you make some crucial lifestyle changes and follow your primary care physician’s instructions. This way, you will stay on top of your health and enjoy a healthy, long life.