When Your blood sugar level is elevated, not too high to be regarded as type 2 diabetes, we can term that as pre-diabetes.
Pre-Just before it progresses to become type 2 diabetes.
You have prediabetes when your blood glucose level is between 7.9mmol/L and 11mmol/L.
The good news about prediabetes is that you can totally make lifestyle changes to reverse it like;
- Modification of your diet.
- Incorporation of physical exercises.
- Doing occasional monitoring of your blood glucose levels.
- Basically a whole change in your lifestyle.
Usually, when prediabetes is left untreated, then your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases.
What causes pre-diabetes?
Just like type 2 diabetes, prediabetes happens when you start to develop issues with insulin function.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that works by moving glucose from the bloodstream into tissues and cells for energy. It basically makes sure glucose moves to your cells for energy.
When you eat foods with too many carbohydrates, and the glucose builds up in your bloodstream, yet your body doesn’t respond to insulin well, you will most likely develop pre-diabetes. What is called insulin resistance.
Being overweight and obese can highly contribute to insulin resistance and that is why achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is recommended.
What are the signs and symptoms of prediabetes?
In most people, pre-diabetes may present with;
- Frequent hunger
- Frequent urination
- Common infections
- Delayed wound healing
- Foot numbness and tingling toes
Yes, you can reverse pre-diabetes before it becomes type 2 diabetes
How can you prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes?
- Remember to maintain portion control, you can use the hand jive method or the plate model to do your portion control.
- Choose healthier food options like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, high protein foods, and healthy fats ( avocado oils, olive oil).
- Include physical exercises in your daily routine, to shed off some weight and increase insulin sensitivity.
- Drink more water alongside your meals and during the day. Water often helps to lower your blood glucose level.
- Try weight loss, and achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Stop alcohol and tobacco smoking.
Being overweight and obese increases your risk to pre-diabetes
What are the effects of pre-diabetes?
The effects of prediabetes can be very similar to those caused by type 2 diabetes, usually referred to as diabetes complications;
- Increased risk of heart disease.
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- Kidney damage.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Delayed wound healing.
All this often comes when prediabetes is left untreated.
What should you eat when you have prediabetes?
- More dietary fibre from vegetables (half of your plate), whole grains, and legumes. Dietary fiber helps give a feeling of satiety hence reducing snack times.
- Take more healthy proteins, especially from plant sources. Limit the intake of fatty animal-source proteins.
- Take only healthy snacks like fruits.
- Check the glycemic index of foods, and reduce intake of too sugary drinks and foods.
- Limit processed meats like bacon that contain too much sodium and saturated fats.
- Stop the use of added sugars from ready-to-eat fast foods.
Remember to do portion control and maintain normal meal times and avoid unnecessary snacking.
Yes, sometimes non-diet factors like stress can cause insulin resistance hence leading to prediabetes
- A good diet and weight loss can reverse prediabetes.
- Sometimes you need medications to decrease your blood glucose level.
- Do not throw away your fruits, only remember to watch portion control.
- Smoking and alcohol are not the way to go.
- Eat more foods with a lower glycemic index and less of those with a higher glycemic index.(The glycemic index shows how fast a certain food can raise your blood glucose level, it’s measured in units)
- Be cautious and take care of your health.