Diabetes Prevention

Prediabetes Treatment: Take Charge of Your Health Now, to Stop Type 2 Diabetes in Its Tracks

August 2021

Got your blood sugar report? Is your blood sugar readings higher than normal? Got diagnosed with prediabetes or borderline diabetes? Wondering what to do next? Wait, don’t fret. You have landed on the right page. We will help you get on track with your blood sugar levels and help you to understand how to reverse the condition too. Yes, you heard us right. Prediabetes can be reversed.

Prediabetes is like a warning signal for most of us. However, if you take necessary precautions on time, you can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Often some scientific and healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle can help you achieve this.

A prediabetes treatment plan usually excludes any pill or medications, but it calls for proper diet and lifestyle management planning. While it seems easy to get going with this unconventional mode of treatment, these changes need a lot of motivation and a paradigm shift. We know it is not easy to give up on your staple diet, adapt to another plan overnight, and stick to it. Such changes need perseverance and patience too. But it is going to pay off well, trust us on this.

So, what happens when you have prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition that is marked with high blood sugar levels but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Like type 2 diabetes, even in prediabetes, either the beta cells of the pancreas are unable to make insulin, or the cells of the body are resistant to insulin. In both these cases, the glucose levels in the blood remain raised.

Insulin is the hormone that helps in glucose absorption throughout the body.

The prediabetes ranges for fasting blood sugar levels are given below:

  • Normal range: between 70 and 99 mg per dL
  • Prediabetes range: between 100 and 125 mg per dL
  • Diabetes range: higher than 126 mg per dL.

And, the prediabetes HbA1c range, that provides an average reading of your blood sugar level over the past 3 months as a percentage is as follows:

  • Normal: below 5.7%
  • Prediabetes: between 5.7% and 6.4%
  • Diabetes: 6.5% or higher.

Elevated sugar levels need attention, even if you don’t have diabetes. Excess sugar in your bloodstream can do a lot of damage to your major organs like the heart, lungs, liver, kidney and even the different muscle groups. So, it is imperative to get your blood sugar reading in check.

Prediabetes symptom check

Prediabetes is a silent condition, so there aren’t any symptoms that can alarm you. The condition is generally picked up during a routine blood test or just accidentally if your doctor has asked for a blood sugar report to check on any other ailment. This is the reason why a prediabetes diagnosis comes as a shock to many. Despite being a silent condition, there are a few signs that can indicate high blood sugar levels.

  • Dark or pigmented skin on certain parts of the body, like the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles.
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Excess hunger
  • Fatigue and weariness
  • Blurred vision

But these symptoms seem so unthreatening that one often fails to get the clue in the beginning. If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes lately and find out that any of the above signs are bothering you, it is time to take charge of your health, NOW! As it means that the excess sugar in the system has started to damage your organs already. It is time for you to act ASAP.

Prediabetes treatment: How to bring your sugar levels in control

First, take a deep breath and relax. Next, chart out a diet and exercise plan that will help you lose some weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and control your blood sugars. Here are a few things that you can do:

Get lighter, Get Fitter:

Even if you are on the leaner side, you need to get serious with your weight loss goals and attain a healthy BMI (BMI of 23) to reverse prediabetes and keep the blood sugar levels in check. If you are overweight, no excuses, please. Get up and sweat it out. Weight loss should be your prime focus when it comes to treating prediabetes. Losing around 5 to 7 percent of your body weight can give you tremendous results in improving glucose sensitivity and blood sugar control.

Have a plan to spend at least 150 minutes doing any physical activity for five days a week. Any cardio or aerobic activity will help you improve your heart’s pumping rate and blood circulation and keep blood sugars in check.

If you lived a sedentary lifestyle for too long, start small like walking or jogging for 15 minutes in the initial days and eventually pick up pace.

Gradually add strength training to your exercise plan. Studies have shown that strength training and cardio have a better effect on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. For people with abdominal obesity, a combination of cardio+strength training works best. Abdominal obesity is one of the risk factors of diabetes. So, get rid of that fat from the middle before it is too late. Your waist size is the perfect measure of how healthy you are; an ideal measure of the waist should be 35 inches or less for women and 40 inches or more for men. Anything higher with prediabetes, you need to revamp your body.

Download the Fitterfly Wellness App to track your activities and know how many calories you are burning in a day.

Eat food, not calories:

Probably before the prediabetes diagnosis took you by surprise, a bowl of Maggi or Hakka noodles seemed fine for late evening hunger pangs. But not anymore. With a condition like prediabetes, you can’t leave anything to chance. Have a proper diet plan in place:

  • Eat at regular intervals to avoid hunger pangs that can force you to have junk or processed foods.
  • Make a food timetable and try to stick to it. For example, try to eat something after every two to three hours for optimal blood sugar management.
  • Choose foods that are low in glycemic index. These foods break down slowly and release glucose in the blood gradually. For example, most fruits and vegetables are low in glycemic index.
  • Cut down on your carb intake and balance your plate with other food components to get more nutrition out of your meals – proteins, fats, micronutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium. Choose complex carbohydrates over simple ones. For example, choose brown rice, whole grains, brown bread, millets, quinoa, oats over white rice, white flour, white bread and other processed foods.
  • As you cut down on carbs, don’t ignore fibre. It is an essential component of your diet. It keeps postprandial blood sugar in check and helps in the slow breakdown of glucose.
  • Choose more natural foods, and farm produce over-processed and bakery products. So, eat more fruit and vegetables. Here is how an ideal meal plate should look –
  1. Fill half plate with vegetables – cooked, steamed or tossed.
  2. Fill a quarter of the plate with proteins – eggs, meat, legumes & beans, pulses, tofu, cottage cheese or paneer
  3. Fill the other quarter with complex carbohydrates like – brown rice, chapati, millets, daliya, etc
  • Ensure enough protein through your diet – lean meat, eggs, dairy, beans and lentils.
  • Have an early dinner to help your body digest the food well. Also, a longer window period between your dinner and breakfast will help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.
  • Hydration is important so don’t forget to drink enough water during the day. Dehydration also affects your blood sugar level.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do it right at first. Nutrition planning needs a lot of in-depth planning and guidance too. However, the right diet plan can help you to reverse prediabetes and get healthier. Some guidance from experts can help you in this regard. At Fitterfly, we have designed a digital therapeutic program for diabetes and prediabetes management – Diabefly Pro.

At Diabefly Pro, a team of specialists, including – a nutritionist, a certified physiotherapist and a clinical psychologist, work in tandem to help you achieve your health goals with tailor-made diet and exercise plans. Regular counselling makes it possible to align your goals to sustain them lifelong.

Take care of your mental health:

Remember, prediabetes treatment needs a holistic approach. It is not about cutting down carbs, losing a few kilos and shrinking your waistline. It also calls for mental balance and calm. Stress and anxiety has an affect on your blood sugar levels. Make sure you keep your stress levels in check to escalate to some more significant mental health condition. Studies suggest that depression can make your diabetes worse and vice versa.

Controlling temper, stress, and anxiety will also help you to keep your blood sugar in check and stick to your diet and exercise plans. The hidden benefits are it will help you regularise your sleep-wake cycle, have a positive outlook towards life and be motivated enough to reverse prediabetes. With a program like Diabefly Pro special attention is given to one’s mental wellbeing as to other conventional modes of lifestyle interventions.

Say bye-bye to bad habits:

Stop smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. Giving up your vices will drastically change your blood sugar levels.

With a diagnosis like prediabetes, your aim should be diabetes prevention or a life dependent on fewer medications and fewer complications. Doctors usually term this period of prediabetes as the golden period, which lasts for 3 to 6 years. That is when you have to reverse your condition and stop the onset of type 2 diabetes. Expert help and guidance go a long way in preventing the progression of type 2 diabetes.

With Diabefly Pro our coaches would take every minute detail to track your diet and lifestyle through a CGMS device to come up with a tailor-made nutrition plan to reverse prediabetes.

Around 15-20% of people with prediabetes progress to diabetes, every year. However, a healthy lifestyle can prevent/delay the onset of diabetes. It can also help you live a diabetes-complication free life for longer – one that is free from medication as well.

To know more about how Diabefly Pro and how it can help you smartly take control of your prediabetes, visit our website www.fitterfly.com/prediabetes or speak to one of our counsellors on 022 48971077 (Ext 1)

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