Have you recently visited the doctor and been diagnosed with prediabetes? Whether it was expected or not, it can be scary to hear that you have borderline diabetes and could very well be facing some rather serious health concerns if things don’t turn around. While it’s normal to get caught up in the moment and the diagnosis itself, it’s important to be clear and also to educate yourself on what exactly prediabetes is, what it means for your lifestyle moving forward, and if there is any way you can reverse it.
Here we’ll take a look at all of those questions and more, helping you to better cope with your new diagnosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Prediabetes?
Symptoms of prediabetes can sometimes be overlooked, so it’s important to listen to your body and be aware of it. Some of the more common symptoms include blurred vision, fatigue no matter how much rest you get, an increase in how often you are urinating, and increased thirst. Another, sometimes less common sign, is that the skin on your elbows, armpits, knees, neck, and knuckles gets darker.
Should any of these symptoms start happening it’s wise to visit your doctor so they can perform a blood glucose screening.
What is Prediabetes?
To put it in very simple terms, prediabetes refers to a person whose blood sugar level is above what is considered normal, but isn’t yet high enough to be considered diabetes. When a doctor gives this diagnosis, it usually means that you are well on your way and highly likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Another thing that may come as a surprise to you is the fact that even though it’s not diabetes at this point, it doesn’t mean that your kidneys, blood vessels, and heart aren’t already suffering from damage, which can be long-term.
It is a very serious diagnosis and one that shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly. Think of prediabetes as a big warning, a giant red flag, that it’s time to make some serious changes in your diet and lifestyle.
What Causes Prediabetes?
It’s very normal to question why this diagnosis has happened to you and if it was something you could have prevented. There is no exact reason that prediabetes happens, but with that said there are plenty of factors that can increase your risk of developing it.
Some of the risk factors include being overweight, having a poor diet that is high in sugar and red and/or processed meat, being over the age of 45, a larger waist size, you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, not being very physically active, and if it runs in your family.
What is the Treatment Plan?
One of the first things you’ll want to discuss after your diagnosis is your treatment plan. While there are no medications to reverse prediabetes, there are plenty of things you can do that can turn things around. Depending on your blood pressure and cholesterol readings, your doctor may need to prescribe medication to control them. Outside of that your “treatment” will include a whole lot of lifestyle changes.
If your blood pressure and cholesterol aren’t quite high enough to warrant prescription drugs but it’s still not ideal, then you may want to look into natural supplements. Blue Sky Vitamin offers the Douglas Labs Berberine Balance. These vitamins are good for controlling your blood glucose metabolism, maintaining your cholesterol at a healthy level, and even helping to lower high blood pressure. This formula contains berberine, cellulose, alpha lipoic acid, grape seed extract, and silica, all of which can help with insulin management.
Typically, the first goal will be to get active. What this means is making sure you get up and get moving each and every day for at least 30 minutes. If you are a smoker, now is the time to cut it out. As well, you will want to take a close look at your diet.
If your weight is a contributing factor to your diagnosis, then the doctor may have you lose 5-10% of your body weight. The exercise will certainly help, but you’ll also need to focus on a healthy well-balanced diet. You will want to reach for foods that are high in fiber but low in calories and fat. This means a diet that includes plenty of whole grains, vegetables, and some fruit.
It Doesn’t Mean Diabetes is a Given
Just because you have been given a diagnosis of prediabetes and you’re feeling overwhelmed and upset about the news, it doesn’t mean that you will for sure develop type 2 diabetes. Remember, your health is still in your hands and you still have control over your future. Using the diagnosis as a wakeup call and making the necessary lifestyle changes can certainly turn things around.
Image Credits: Akash Deep