Prediabetes is often overlooked as a serious condition, but it is a warning sign that you are on the brink of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies show that those who have prediabetes are 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the next ten years. Thankfully, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to prevent or reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. In this post, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and effective lifestyle treatment of prediabetes.
Symptoms of Prediabetes
- Unusual Thirst – One of the primary symptoms of prediabetes is having an insatiable thirst that isn’t quenched despite drinking enough water. This is your body’s way of trying to dilute high blood sugar.
- Frequent Urination – Frequent urination is another sign of prediabetes, which results from a surplus of glucose in the bloodstream that your body flushes out through urine.
- Fatigue – Fatigue is not only a symptom of prediabetes, but it’s also a side effect of uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Prediabetics often experience fatigue even after getting enough rest at night. This is because your cells are resistant to insulin, the “key” that helps glucose get into the cell to be converted to energy.
- Slow Healing – Diabetics have slow-healing wounds because high glucose levels affect blood circulation and damage blood vessels. This is also the case in prediabetes, where blood circulation may not be optimal, leading to slow healing.
- Blurred Vision – High blood sugar can cause damage to the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to blurred vision.
Lifestyle Treatment to Reverse Prediabetes
- Weight Loss – Losing even a small amount of weight can make a significant difference in reversing prediabetes. A healthy target weight loss is between 5% to 10% of your starting body weight.
- Joyful Movement – Regular physical activity can help lower your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. Make sure it’s something you enjoy so it’s sustainable.
- Low Glycemic Carbs – Consuming more fiber-rich food, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while reducing high-carbohydrate and high-fat food can help control blood sugar levels. Also, reduce the intake of sugary drinks. Our nutrition coaching programs offer valuable education and support!
- Healthy Fats – In addition to swapping refined carbs and sugary foods out for fruits, vegetables and whole grains, healthy fats are important. Fats, particularly omega-3 fats, can help reduce inflammation associated with diabetes. Omega-3 foods include: fatty fish, flaxseeds, soy, seaweed, and chia seeds. Your doctor may recommend a high quality omega-3 supplement if you don’t regularly eat these foods.
- Phytonutrients – Phytonutrients are the antioxidants and beneficial compounds naturally present in plants; particularly fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of colorful produce will provide you with a range of different beneficial phytonutrients, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, aid in detoxification, and reduce cancer risk.
- Quality Sleep – Getting between 7-9 hours of quality sleep helps your body recover, think more clearly, supports heart health, and keeps blood sugar under control. You may notice that with less sleep, you tend to crave sugary, carby foods. This is because sugar produces quick energy for the body when it’s lacking in sleep. Additionally, if you suspect that you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, ask your doctor about taking a sleep study. Treating these conditions is incredibly important in overall health.
- Managing Stress – Stress raises cortisol, which raises blood sugar in response. Elevated cortisol over a prolonged period is associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. Finding effective ways to manage your stress, such as nature walks, joyful movement, meditation and therapy, can help control blood sugar spikes.
- Regular Checkups – Regular checkups with your physician can help you monitor your blood sugar levels and make adjustments to your lifestyle as needed.
- Take Medication – In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as Metformin, to help control blood sugar levels.
Prediabetes doesn’t have to lead to developing Type 2 diabetes. In fact, we’ve seen it first hand! We help our clients with prediabetes lose weight by changing their nutrition to support healthy blood sugar levels, while reducing insulin resistance and improving overall energy and wellbeing. By learning how to properly fuel and support their bodies, our clients have experienced drastically improved A1C and blood glucose levels! If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes and are unsure what changes to make to your nutrition, reach out to schedule a free consultation today!