How Can I Prevent Or Reverse Insulin Resistance And Prediabetes
Physical activity and losing weight if you need to may help your body respond better to insulin. Taking small steps, such as eating healthier foods and moving more to lose weight, can help reverse insulin resistance and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
The National Institutes of Health-funded research study, the Diabetes Prevention Program , showed that for people at high risk of developing diabetes, losing 5 to 7 percent of their starting weight helped reduce their chance of developing the disease.3 Thats 10 to 14 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds. People in the study lost weight by changing their diet and being more physically active.
The DPP also showed that taking metformin, a medicine used to treat diabetes, could delay diabetes. Metformin worked best for women with a history of gestational diabetes, younger adults, and people with obesity. Ask your doctor if metformin might be right for you.
Making a plan, tracking your progress, and getting support from your health care professional, family, and friends can help you make lifestyle changes that may prevent or reverse insulin resistance and prediabetes. You may be able to take part in a lifestyle change program as part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
What About A Low Carb Diet For Prediabetes
A low-carb diet is a great option for prediabetes because it will improve blood sugar, help you lose weight, and help you feel more energetic. Carbohydrates are digested into glucose very easily. A person with prediabetes already has too much sugar in the blood so you donât want to add any more.
To feel satisfied on a low carb diet you have to eat healthy amounts of protein and fat. Many people continue to try to follow a low-fat or fat-free diet while also trying to make low carb choices, and understandably, feel hungry and frustrated because there is nothing tasty to eat. Recent research published in the British Medical Journal debunked the low fat hypothesis .2 People actually are not at a lower risk of prediabetes.
What is the glycemic index?
The easiest way to choose quality carbohydrates by following a low glycemic index diet. With a low glycemic index diet you balance the carbohydrate/sugar content of a meal with enough fiber, fat, and protein so that the meal is digested and absorbed slowly. This gradually releases glucose into the bloodstream, and thus the body does not require a large amount of insulin. It also provides the body with good, steady energy over many hours.
Mediterranean Diet Pattern For Prediabetes
A Mediterranean-style diet is based on traditional eating patterns of Mediterranean countries, especially Greece, southern Italy, and Spain. This way of eating is known for its heart-healthy benefits, but research also shows that it can also help in weight loss and assist in blood sugar control.
Compared to the average American diet, a Mediterranean diet pattern generally includes more:
- Olive oil
It includes moderate consumption of poultry and fish, and less:
- Full fat dairy products
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Water has no calories, no carbs, and no sugar, water is an ideal drink for reversing prediabetes. Itâs also a crucial component of a healthy diet or an effective weight loss program. On a more on-topic note, several studies have suggested that water could play a role in controlling blood sugar levels.
First of all, water is a healthier and more convenient alternative to sugary smoothies, fruit juices, and sweetened beverages. In essence, water can help you cut down on your sugar intake, limit spikes in blood glucose levels, and therefore prevent type 2 diabetes.
In a 2011 study published in the journal Diabetes Care, participants who drank plenty of water were 28% less likely to develop new-onset hyperglycemia, a diabetes-related condition marked by high blood sugar.
Even though more research is still required, scientists noted the hormone vasopressin â whose levels go up when you’re dehydrated â as a potential risk factor for diabetes. By the same token, staying properly hydrated may reduce the chances of increased levels of vasopressin and, as a result, minimize the odds of developing diabetes.
So, how much water is plenty when reversing prediabetes? The right quantity of water you should take every day will greatly depend on your activity level, body size, and where you live. Ideally, men should drink 3.7 liters while women should aim for 2.7 liters per day, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
What To Do If Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Lower Than Normal
Blood sugar levels that are below 70 mg/dL are known as hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include heart palpitations and feeling lightheaded, jittery, irritable, fatigued, or sweaty.9
Low fasting blood sugar levels can occur if you have diabetes and your medication does not match your carbohydrate intake. So its very important to let your healthcare provider know youre following a low-carb diet so they can adjust your medication to match your carb intake.
In people who do not have diabetes, low fasting blood sugar levels may be the result of a serious underlying medical condition such as an eating disorder or a tumor. If your fasting blood sugar is low and you do not take diabetes medications, see your healthcare provider.
Low blood sugar levels after eating are often called reactive hypoglycemia. This can occur in people with diabetes, as well as those with normal fasting blood sugars. How it should be treated depends on what the underlying cause is. But if you have low blood sugar and experience symptoms, you can remedy this in the short term by eating something with carbs or sugar.
High-carb intake may cause reactive hypoglycemia in people who are very insulin sensitive or have experienced massive weight loss.10 A low-carb, high-protein diet has been found to improve reactive hypoglycemia in adults who have undergone weight-loss surgery.11
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So What Is Prediabetes
Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough for you to be considered diabetic. According to the American Diabetes Association, prediabetes is diagnosed when:
- A Hemoglobin A1C reading between 5.7-6.4 percent
- A fasting blood glucose between 100 -125 mg/dl
- An oral glucose tolerance test 2 hour blood glucose reading between 140 mg/dl-199 mg/dl
A diagnosis of prediabetes usually indicates insulin resistance, which means your body doesnt use insulin properly. Insulin regulates your bodys usage and storage of sugar and fat.
Choose Your Carbs Carefully
Be careful about the kinds of carbohydrates you eat and spread them evenly throughout the day. Remember, it is important to control your portions and not overeat!
Whole grains , beans, lentils, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables .
Minimize intake of:
White bread, white rice, pasta, pastries, potatoes, sugared soda, highly processed foods . Remember, the more processed a food is, the less fiber, vitamins, and minerals it has leaving behind mostly starch.
Pastries, sugared soda, highly processed foods ! These foods are mostly empty calories with no nutritional value which can add extra calories to your diet.
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Make Exercise A Habit
Leading an active life is a must. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 days a week . Plus, do some strength-training exercise, like lifting weights or using resistance bands, at least twice a week.
Strength work builds muscle, which helps lower your blood sugar level, helps your body respond better to insulin , and burns calories even when you’re not moving.
Carbs To Lower Blood Sugar In Prediabetes
Regardless of the total number of prediabetes carbs per day that you have, you will get better results if you choose healthier sources and stay aware of portion sizes. Look for high-fiber, high-nutrient sources, and know that a serving size may be smaller than you think!
Healthy Carbs for Prediabetes
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As Many As 60 Million People In The United States Have Prediabetes Yet More Than 90 Percent Of Them Dont Know It Find Out If You’re One Of Them And Learn How To Take Action Today
At 28, Jennyvi Dizon wasn’t expecting to be turned down for health insurance. “I thought I was fairly healthy,” she says. The company disapproved her because she weighed 188 pounds and was 5 feet 3 inches tall. They wanted her to weigh 155 pounds or less.
When she reapplied one month later, the insurer requested blood tests. This time, the news was even more startling: her blood glucose level was above normal and her cholesterol was high.
Jennyvi’s mother has diabetes, so the elevated blood glucose reading was especially worrisome. Online, Jennyvi learned that her test level meant she had prediabetesa condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“I had been in a little bit of denial because, really, I was overweight and unhealthy, but I didn’t realize it,” says Jennyvi, a bridal and evening gown designer from Phoenix. “I knew that if I get to the diabetes level, it’ll cause me problems later.”
The hidden condition
As many as 60 million people in the United States have prediabetes, yet more than 90 percent of them don’t know it. People with prediabetes usually have no symptoms, and many who learn about their prediabetes think it’s no big deal.
“People do not take this as seriously as they need to,” says Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “The good news is there is something you can do about it,” Dr. Albright adds.
Make Sleep A Priority
Not getting enough sleep regularly makes losing weight harder, says Theresa Garnero, author of Your First Year With Diabetes.
Set good sleep habits. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Relax before you turn out the lights. Don’t watch TV or use your computer or smartphone when you’re trying to fall asleep. Avoid caffeine after lunch if you have trouble sleeping.
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Healthy Tips For Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
If you have pre-diabetes, you should talk to your doctor about developing a lifestyle plan to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends increased physical activity and, if you are overweight, losing 5-10 percent of your body weight. Your doctor may also want you to take medication if you have a family history of diabetes, you are obese, or have other cardiovascular risk factors .
Below are tips to help you keep pre-diabetes from progressing to Type 2 diabetes:
Exercise Every Day
Since muscles use glucose for energy, activities like walking, bicycling, and gardening help to lower the sugar in your blood. Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise on all or most days of the week. Even 10 minutes at a time can be beneficial with a goal of 150 minutes per week.
Lose Weight If You Are Overweight
Extra body fat contributes to insulin resistance, which makes it more difficult for insulin to lower blood sugar levels, and increases the likelihood of pre-diabetes. Your doctor will likely tell you to look for areas in which you can cut your calorie intake by 250 to 500 hundred calories per day, such as:
Mayo Clinic Q And A: How To Reverse Prediabetes
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I’m a 36-year-old man recently diagnosed with prediabetes. Is there a way to reverse this, or am I destined to eventually get diabetes? My health care provider says I’ve likely been in the prediabetes stage for a year or more.
ANSWER: There are steps you can take to slow the progression of prediabetes to Type 2 diabetes. You may even be able to stop or reverse it. That’s important because once Type 2 diabetes develops, the disease can lead to complications that can cause serious, long-term health problems.
Diabetes occurs when the level of sugar in the blood is too high. That happens because of a problem with the hormone insulin, which is made in the pancreas. When you eat, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream. This allows sugar to enter your cells, lowering the amount of sugar in your blood.
In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin, and the body can’t use insulin as well as it should. That means sugar cannot move into the cells, and it builds up in the blood. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough to be considered Type 2 diabetes. People who have prediabetes are at high risk to develop Type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that there are ways to reverse this condition. Certain lifestyle changes can lower your blood sugar level and decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
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High And Low: How To Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately
Is insulin enough to reduce blood sugar immediately? Insulins main function is to lower blood sugar levels, but does your insulin dosage do the job?
The simple answer is: yes, insulin does the job, especially for those with insulin-dependent diabetes. There are certainly alternative ways to lower blood sugar immediately, but thats not exactly the goal when it comes to diabetes.
You dont want to lower blood sugar rapidly, just for the sake of being rapid. If you reduce blood sugar too quickly, then youll end up having to deal with low blood sugar instead.
Diabetes management is more about finding balance and treating yourself in a controlled manner. So, while you might need to reduce blood sugar immediately in some situations, you can do it in a way where youre still in control.
Find out how to stay in control, lower blood sugar, and get back to your normal lockdown routine of bread-baking and Tiger King-viewing!
What Are The Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance And Prediabetes
Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. Some people with prediabetes may have darkened skin in the armpit or on the back and sides of the neck, a condition called acanthosis nigricans. Many small skin growths called skin tags often appear in these same areas.
Even though blood glucose levels are not high enough to cause symptoms for most people, a few research studies have shown that some people with prediabetes may already have early changes in their eyes that can lead to retinopathy. This problem more often occurs in people with diabetes.
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The Cause Of Diabetes
Diabetes is an illness related to elevated blood sugar levels. When you stop releasing and responding to normal amounts of insulin after eating foods with carbohydrates, sugar and fats, you have diabetes. Insulin, a hormone thats broken down and transported to cells to be used as energy, is released by the pancreas to help with the storage of sugar and fats. But people with diabetes dont respond to insulin properly, which causes high blood sugar levels and diabetes symptoms.
Its important to note that theres a difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Heres an explanation of the two types of diabetes and what causes these conditions:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is commonly called juvenile diabetes because it tends to develop at a younger age, typically before a person turns 20 years old. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
The damage to the pancreatic cells leads to a reduced ability or complete inability to create insulin. Some of the common causes that trigger this autoimmune response may include a virus, genetically modified organisms, heavy metals, or foods like wheat, cows milk and soy.
The reason foods like wheat and cows milk have been linked to diabetes is because they contain the proteins gluten and A1 casein. These proteins can cause leaky gut, which in turn causes systemic inflammation throughout the body and over time can lead to autoimmune disease.
You Are At Higher Risk Of Prediabetes If You Are:
- Over 45 years old
- Do not get much exercise or are sedentary
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Are African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
- Are overweight or obese
- Have high bad LDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, or low good HDL cholesterol
What these have in common is that you can improve them with diet, either eating better or having a planned diet for your prediabetes.
Many people with prediabetes eventually get type 2 diabetes, but heres a secret: it doesnt always have to happen, prediabetes is reversible, which is why it is called borderline diabetes.
Awareness of prediabetes could be the best thing that ever happened to you. It gives you the chance to find a good diet for prediabetes that works for your health and for your lifestyle. The Lark Diabetes Prevention Program is an award-winning mobile health program that over 100,000 Americans have used to help prevent Diabetes. Its provided free of charge by many health plans.
Once you decide to make those healthy changes, you are more likely to succeed with a support system that works for you, and a health app could be what you need for information and accountability.
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What Causes Pre
Pre-diabetes develops for the same reasons as type 2 diabetes . There are various things that can increase your risk of developing pre-diabetes. They are the same risk factors as those for type 2 diabetes. They include:
- If a woman has polycystic ovary syndrome and is also overweight.
- If you developed diabetes during pregnancy .