How to reverse prediabetes before becoming diabetic. Prediabetes can be a serious warning sign, but you can reverse it by changing your diet and exercise.
The risk of developing diabetes can be increased by many factors, and prediabetes can be just a warning sign to diabetes if we pay attention and make adequate diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Those are the things I want to help explain in this post.
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What is Prediabetes?
According to the CDC, prediabetes is defined as; “Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have prediabetes.”1
Yes, you read that correctly! Approximately 84 million American adults, that is more than 1 in 3, have prediabetes! Most people don’t even know if they have prediabetes or not!
Signs & Symptoms
You may go years with prediabetes without noticing any serious signs or symptoms. People can have it without symptoms or complications being detected.
However, also according to the CDC website you should check with your doctor if you have any of the following risk factors for prediabetes:
- Being overweight
- Being 45 years or older
- Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week
- Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome
Race and ethnicity are also a factor: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk.
If your doctor agrees that you should be tested, this can be done by a simple blood test.
Prediabetes Can Be A Warning Sign
Prediabetes is a dangerous condition itself, but it’s also a huge red flag! Prediabetes can be your warning sign of an even more serious condition ahead!
Once you get a diagnosis of prediabetes you then have a chance to reverse it before it becomes Type 2 Diabetes. There is no cure for Diabetes, and no way to reverse the condition once it does become Diabetes. So heed the warning if you are diagnosed with prediabetes!
How to Reverse Prediabetes
Gregg Gerety, MD, chief of endocrinology at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, N.Y., had this to say about prediabetes; “It’s an opportunity to initiate lifestyle changes or treatments, and potentially retard progression to diabetes or even prevent diabetes”
Lifestyle changes are the obvious ways to reverse prediabetes, or at least slow down and hopefully avoid becoming a diabetic. Let’s look at some of the main lifestyle changes that help to reverse prediabetes.
1. Move more. or Exercise. Being more active is one of the best things you can do for prediabetes and to avoid diabetes. If it’s been a while since you’ve routinely exercised, start out slowly by taking the stairs more often than the elevator. Ideally, you should exercise 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week.
2. Lose weight. Talk with your doctor about your ideal body weight or goal weight. Your doctor can also suggest healthy diets and healthy weight loss goals.
3. See your Doctor more often. See your doctor every 3-6 months. Your doctor can re-check your labs and blood sugar levels, give you positive reinforcements and help keep you on track. If it’s not going well, your doctor can offer different suggestions to help.
4. Get adequate sleep. Not enough sleep makes it harder to lose weight. It also makes it harder for your body to use insulin properly, which will make diabetes more likely.
5. Change your diet. Eat Healthily. Of course, you need a healthier diet. Eat more vegetables. Get plenty of fiber. Avoid sugar. Eat low-carbs. Carbs increase sugar in your body. Eat more protein. You can read some other tips on dieting in my previous posts about Mindful Eating and Living with Diabetes.
6. Get Support. It is always a good idea to have a support system in place when making major lifestyle changes. The changes won’t always be easy, there will be days you will be frustrated and ready to give up. A support system, a spouse, or friend is always helpful. You can read about my support system and how we help each other in my previous post about my Buddy System.
7. Commit and Be Consistent. Choose your goals and strategy. Set your exercise plans, meal plans, and grocery shopping. Commit yourself to your lifestyle changes that you need to make. Then be consistent. It may feel like very small steps at first. You may make mistakes and might not see the progress as fast as you’d like. But even so, you still must be consistent! You will see the results!
Reversing prediabetes basically comes down to changing your lifestyle. Increasing exercise and changing your diet.
These things can be difficult. Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes usually doesn’t show up until middle to later adulthood. Let’s face it, the old saying of; “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks”, does have some truth to it.
However, we can all form new habits! It only takes determination and consistency! I’ve heard it said that doing something repeatedly for 21-28 days will become a habit. I’ve found that to be true for myself.
More Ways to Help Reverse Prediabetes
The two most important ways to help reverse prediabetes that I’ve already talked about are changing your diet and increasing your exercise.
Sheryl Huggins Salomon gave some great diet tips in an article titled, 3 Steps I Took to Cut Sugar From My Diet and Reverse Prediabetes. It’s a great article you may find very helpful.
Gut Health and Prediabetes
“All disease begins in the gut.”Hippocrates
Your gut is home to a huge population of microbes, also referred to as your microbiome, that includes bacteria and fungi, that live inside your gastrointestinal tract (mostly in your colon) and work with you to perform many necessary functions that benefit you. A hot area of current research focuses on the link between your microbiome and a wide range of diseases, from depression to lupus and even blood sugar problems. Although these problems may not seem related to what’s going on in your gut, you don’t have to have typical gut symptoms to have gut problems.2
Diet is connected to microbiome health, as it is also connected to blood sugar levels, or prediabetes and diabetes. Recent research has shown that the same diets high in sugars, starches, and carbohydrates affect both the blood sugar levels and the microbiome health. Therefore making the connection between microbiome health (gut health) and prediabetes and/or diabetes.
You need foods high in fiber. You need to drink plenty of water each day. You also need probiotics and prebiotics, to help maintain a healthy gut/microbiome.
I personally use supplements to help maintain a healthy gut/microbiome and keep everything balanced. I would not suggest or recommend anything that I have not used or encountered great personal health benefits from myself. To learn even more about an unbalanced gut, you can check out these products that I use by clicking the picture below. 🙂
Are you already diabetic? Have you noticed symptoms of prediabetes or been diagnosed with prediabetes?
Do you know if you are at risk for prediabetes? Perhaps it’s time to talk to your doctor about being tested. At least know your blood sugar levels.
Even if you aren’t prediabetic yet, it’s never too early (or too late) to start making healthier lifestyle choices.
Now It’s Your Turn
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Until next time,