Diabetes also known as ‘Madhumeh’ in India, is a fast growing metabolic disorder. And its surprising but true that almost every person with type-2 diabetes has had prediabetes first, meaning, there were warning signs that the person’s metabolism was giving away before a complete metabolic melt down happened during frank diabetes! Physiological way to understand prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are running higher than normal but not high enough to qualify for a diagnosis of diabetes. Now good news of having a diagnosis of prediabetes is it is completely reversible from this stage. Bad news is, if left undiagnosed and untreated it can put you at increased risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases and stroke. In this article, Geetika Patni, Lifestyle Expert from GOQii explains how to reverse prediabetes naturally.
What Are The Symptoms and Risk Factors of Prediabetes?
Prediabetes doesn’t always have any symptoms thus one can have the condition for years without getting detected. In case symptoms do show, they can range from:
- excessive thirst
- excessive hunger
- blurred vision
- skin discoloration
Prediabetes can occur in anyone although certain risk factors greatly increase the chance of developing it. These risk factors include:
- sedentary lifestyle
- obesity with BMI>25
- regular consumption of red meat
- being 45 years or older
- having parents or siblings with type 2 diabetes
- previous history of gestational diabetes
- belly fat with waist size >40 for men and >35 for women
- Also associated medical conditions like high blood pressure, high triglyceride or high cholesterol levels can increase the risk towards developing pre diabetes.
Final diagnosis for prediabetes is confirmed by a doctor through a blood check up drawn to check sugar levels at different times. For example a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dl indicates pre diabetes. Similarly an oral glucose tolerance test reading at 140-199mg/dl shows prediabetic sugar levels. Hemoglobin A1C test represents an average blood sugar range over a period of 3 months, and HbA1C value of 5.7-6.4 is diagnostic for prediabetes.
How to reverse prediabetes?
Lowering your risk factors for prediabetes and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can often help your blood sugar levels fall back to healthy levels. Geetika tells, “One of my client and friend Rita, reversed her borderline diabetic A1C levels of 6.5 to a normal 5.2 just by following a structured diet and exercise routine. And Deepak turned around his fasting sugar levels from 147mg/dl to 98mg/dl in a span of 3 months by quitting smoking and being active. Nalin too reversed his HbA1c level of 6.8 to 4.7 in a time frame of 3 months by changing a sedentary lifestyle into an active one.”
Treating pre diabetes is crucial to preventing diabetes and associated complications, and thus must be taken seriously. Follow below steps to manage prediabetes:
Eat nutritious diet- limit sugary drinks, fatty foods, processed foods, packaged foods, red meat and alcohol. Include whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, plant proteins in daily menu spaced out in 5 small meals throughout the day. Some functional foods like methi water, jamun seeds can be good too to improve insulin sensitivity in the body.
Exercise regularly- Avoid long sitting hours, take a stretching break every hour, go for 30-45 minutes of active workout, 5 times a week. It can include walking, brisk walking, yoga, weights or swimming-any activity that you enjoy is good to go.
Avoid tobacco- smoking, vaping, hookah smoking, and tobacco chewing etc push in toxins in the body. Get rid of them. Drink 2-2.5 litres of water every day to detoxify.
Also Read: 7 Foods That Can Reverse Prediabetes
Get sleep- people with rotational shifts, night shifts must be extra cautious in covering up their 7 hours of sound sleep to maintain healthy levels of blood glucose.
Manage stress levels – avoid over thinking. Seek hobbies, time with nature and talk to near and dear ones. Stay motivated.
Bring down weight- Lose a modest amount of weight and your risk for pre diabetes starts to reverse. A low carb diet can improve management of insulin and thus helps with weight loss/inch loss.
Mange related disorders like cholesterol and high blood pressure- consumption of foods like flax seeds, oats, beetroot can help in the goal.
Reversing prediabetes is possible by making lifestyle changes alone. If your doctor recommends medications, please adhere to the medicine schedule as prescribed, while following lifestyle modifications which will further improve efficacy of any medications you are taking. Pre diabetes is reversible with a well rounded lifestyle plan. Follow the path of health and live long!
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