Out of 34.2 million U.S. adults, an estimated 88 million adults have prediabetes, 34.5% of the U.S. adult population. Before moving further, we should first understand what prediabetes is.
What Is Prediabetes, And Can We Treat It?
Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar is higher than average but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association considers a patient prediabetic when a person has a hemoglobin A1C reading between 5.7-6.4 percent, a fasting blood glucose between 100-125 mg/dl, and an oral glucose tolerance test two hours blood glucose reading between 140 mg/dl-199 mg/dl.
Insulin regulates the usage and storage of sugar and fat. A prediabetic patient shows insulin resistance, which means that a person’s body does not use insulin adequately.
How does your body react to Insulin Resistance?
Glucose level rises after eating, and the pancreas also releases insulin, but the cells resist the insulin and do not use glucose. The glucose stays in the blood and makes the blood sugar levels high because cells are not burning glucose for energy.
Prediabetes increases the risk for heart disease and stroke and developing type 2 diabetes. It does not cause any symptoms, although some people develop dark skin around the armpits, neck, and elbows.
However, a prediabetes diagnosis does not mean that you will develop type 2 diabetes. By changing their diet and lifestyle, some people have successfully reversed prediabetes.
How can you reverse prediabetes naturally?
From changing your diet to losing some extra weight, there are many ways to reverse prediabetes naturally. Here are some natural ways to improve your blood sugar levels and possibly lower your risk of developing full-blown diabetes:
✅ Eat a clean and healthy diet.
Changing your food eating habits can help you in reversing prediabetes.
A diet high in processed foods, which contain fat, calories, and sugar with no nutritional value, is one of the risk factors for prediabetes. A diet including red meat also heightens the risk.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there is no universal eating plan for people with diabetes or prediabetes, but eating a clean diet with healthier choices can help you revive normal blood sugar levels.
The Mediterranean diet works wonders for some people. A person consumes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They can also eat an average amount of poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy in the Mediterranean diet.
Also, include apple cider vinegar in your diet as it is shown that it decreases fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels. Use it as a salad dressing to avoid its bitter taste.
✅ Exercise more.
The American Diabetes Association says that exercise can lower your blood sugar for up to 24 hours after a workout. It can also reduce blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. That permits the body cells to use insulin more effectively.
If you are typically inactive, you should start slow. You can start by walking 5-10 minutes on most days of the week, gradually moving up to 30 minutes. Slowly keep on increasing the intensity and length of your workouts. One should avoid sitting for long periods; getting up and moving around at least once an hour helps a lot.
Exercises for moderate movements or average physical activity may include biking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, or you can play a fun sport.
✅ Lose excess pounds.
You can lose weight by exercising regularly. Losing a lot of weight together seems to be a daunting task but setting a goal of losing 5-7 percent of your body fat seems to be more manageable. Weight loss will help you in inflammation which is a symptom of insulin resistance. It can also improve your blood sugar level and help reverse prediabetes.
Women with a waist size of 35 inches or more and men with 40 inches or more have higher insulin resistance.
Along with healthy eating and regular exercise, you can take other steps too to lose weight. Work with a personal trainer or have an accountable friend who can help you shed extra weight.
Rather than eating three large meals, consume five or six smaller meals throughout the day. According to a study, people who lost about 10% of their body weight lessened their risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes during the next three years by 85%.
✅ Get good sleep and treat sleep apnea.
One should always sleep at least seven to nine hours every night. If sleeping for the minimum number of hours is not possible during the week, make sure to catch up over the weekend. A human body with a lack of sleep can not use insulin effectively. Regular poor sleep can lead you to make unhealthy food choices and cause you to have imbalanced energy levels.
Another sleeping problem is sleep apnea. It is also associated with insulin resistance. People with this condition suffer from repetitive breathing stopping throughout the night due to relaxation of the throat muscles.
Loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, choking during sleep, waking up with a headache, and daytime sleepiness are some signs you should look for sleep apnea.
Patients use continuous positive airway pressure to keep upper airway passage throughout the night. That would help in proper sleep.
✅ Stay hydrated.
One should prefer drinking water over sodas and fruit juices over water as it will help in controlling blood glucose levels. A study showed that out of 3615 middle-aged men and women, 565 participants had high sugar levels, and 202 acquired diabetes. But the study found that those participants who drank more than a half-liter of water had a 28%lower chance of developing high blood sugar than those who drank less water.
So, it is safe to say that staying hydrated is an excellent way to help reverse prediabetes.
✅ Consult a dietitian nutritionist.
It is very beneficial to consult a registered dietitian nutritionist to work on your dietary plan. Even if your doctor makes dietary suggestions, guidance and advice of a dietitian nutritionist on which foods to eat and which to avoid can come in handy.
The aim is to stabilize your blood sugar, and they can help you develop a meal plan specific to your condition to maintain a healthy diet.
Eating a diet rich in fiber, cessation of smoking, eating fewer carbs, and avoiding alcohol are some other ways that can help you reverse your prediabetes naturally.
A prediabetes diagnosis does not mean that you will develop type 2 diabetes. But you will need to take quick action to reverse the disease. It is essential to get your blood sugar in a healthy range. Not only will you avoid type 2 diabetes, but you will also avoid complications associated with the condition, such as heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, and more.