According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and 86 million have prediabetes. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with prediabetes, you should know that reversing prediabetes symptoms is still possible.
What can you do toward reversing prediabetes from progression to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (what was previously referred to as adult onset diabetes)? And better yet, what are ways to bring your blood sugar levels back down to within normal limits and out of the prediabetic range? The following are steps you can start now to reverse prediabetes symptoms.
What Does it Mean to be Prediabetic?
Whenever your doctor raises a concern about your health and its direction, or provides you with a new diagnosis, one of the best first courses of action is to educate yourself.
Ask your physician how you can keep prediabetes from turning into type 2 diabetes. Also, know the risks involved with diabetes. What are the dangers of type 2 diabetes?
No doubt your doctor has informed you that diabetes can lead to other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease, as well as the danger of uncontrolled diabetes leading to blindness or amputations. You certainly want to decrease the chance of suffering from these eventual effects of uncontrolled blood sugar. So, what lifestyle changes can you make starting today that will reverse course from your prediabetic condition progressing to diabetes?
Diabetes and Diet: What are Healthy Meal Choices for Reversing Prediabetes Symptoms?
The simplest earliest intervention for reversing prediabetes symptoms or managing diabetes is that of making healthy dietary changes. Diabetes education should start with your diet.
You may have the mistaken idea that all sugars should be avoided. But in truth, a healthy balanced diet including all food groups in moderation can be enjoyed as part of a satisfying diet.
Balancing your intake of carbohydrates with proteins will be key to maintaining a stable blood sugar. Decreasing your intake of simple carbohydrates such as white bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta and increasing your intake of lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and low-fat dairy products will help to stabilize blood sugar.
Working with your doctor can be helpful to better understand your dietary needs to achieve your goal of reversing prediabetes symptoms. Ask your doctor questions such as what foods should I avoid and what should I eat more of? What changes do I need to make to my diet and should I work with a dietician or diabetes educator?
Diabetes and Exercise: What’s the Connection with Reversing Prediabetes?
A daily exercise program can help to keep your weight within normal range, which can help decrease your blood sugar levels. An expensive gym membership is not necessary, although having access to a personal trainer and comfortable gym surroundings would not hurt either.
Increasing your daily activity can be done at little or no cost. Why not try taking short 15 minute walks several times a day or walking on a treadmill at home? You could enroll in a water aerobics class at your local recreation center or YMCA. If you prefer walking in an indoor setting with climate control, look into options for mall walking. And of course, be sure to ask your physician about what kind of exercises are best for you to try and how much exercise you need.
Diabetes and Smoking: Quit Smoking
One of the greatest steps you can take in improving your overall health and decreasing your chance of developing diabetes is by quitting smoking. The U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health report that "There is much evidence that smoking increases the risk of diabetes."
The report goes on to show that there is a correlation between smoking and insulin resistance and cholesterol levels. Smoking also damages the body's blood vessels, which can lead to complications of heart attack and stroke.
Cutting Down On Sugar: Some Tips for Healthy Eating to Reverse Prediabetes
An obvious offender for blood sugar control is eating and drinking sugary beverages. Simple changes might be replacing sodas and juices with sugar-free versions and sweetening coffee and tea with non-sugar alternatives.
You can also cut out these sugar and chemical laden products completely and try to increase your water intake. Many people find that adding a lemon or orange slice to a glass of water satisfies their desire for a more flavorful beverage.
Packaged cakes and cookies, ice cream, and other conveniently packaged sweets are tempting but can completely hijack your efforts to reverse course. Enlist the help of your family and friends to clean house, throwing away these non-essential foods and avoiding the trap of buying more.
Try eating a modest serving of fruit when the urge for a sweet treat emerges. Or check out diabetic cookbooks at your local library for sugar-free dessert recipes that can be made at home.
Get Regular Blood Glucose Screenings
Effectively managing your blood sugar and reversing prediabetes symptoms requires knowing what your blood sugar readings are. Ask your doctor about regular blood glucose screening.
Take Your Prescribed Medications
Of course, the wisest course is to follow your doctor's advice and prescribed course of treatment. Always take your medications as prescribed and follow up with your physician regularly.
How Can CareSync Help With Diabetes?
If you have diabetes or are prediabetic, they can help you properly track your blood sugar levels and report them back to your doctor, support you in scheduling and keeping important doctor appointments and blood sugar screenings, locate support groups that can help you deal with the rollercoaster of emotions you may be going through, and provide you with educational resources to understand your diabetes.
Additionally, if there is some obstacle to you taking your medications as ordered, they may be able to help. Sometimes Health Assistants can work with your doctor and the CareSync pharmacy discount program to locate more affordable medications, or to help you get on a medication regimen that fits better with your particular lifestyle.
To learn more about CareSync and its support for individuals, family members, and caregivers, please visit our website.