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Reverse Diabetes To Take Back Your Life

A pre-diabetes diagnosis can be disheartening for many patients with tell-tale symptoms of oncoming diabetes. Many patients are more than capable of reversing a pre-diabetes diagnosis by introducing healthier habits into daily life. Consistency in changes in diet and exercise is crucial to staving off diabetes symptoms and damage.

center for family medicine Can I Reverse Diabetes What To Do With A Pre Diabetes Diagnosis

A future without lifestyle changes

Doctors can recommend a few helpful exercises and diet tips after pre-diabetes diagnosis. Pre-diabetes is also often referred to as metabolic syndrome.  Patients must stick with new and healthy habits or risk progressing a pre-diabetes diagnosis into a full type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetic patients are putting extra strain on the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels. Without the proper lifestyle changes, prediabetes can quickly lead to severe consequences such as the following:

  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Blindness
  • Amputations

Understanding pre-diabetes

A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome means that a patient’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Pre-diabetic patients are not able to properly process glucose, which leads to a higher-than-normal fasting plasma glucose level. Metabolic syndrome occurs when plasma glucose levels are between 100mg-126mg, the level that signals type 2 diabetes. Understanding healthy eating and exercise habits can help reduce the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.

Healthy diet

Patients with metabolic syndrome should avoid or reduce consuming refined and processed carbohydrates that enter the bloodstream quickly and instantly lead to higher blood sugar levels. Fiber-rich foods and other foods low on the glycemic index (GI) are the best for blood sugar levels. The following low GI foods can help reverse diabetes:

  • Steel-cut oats
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Nonstarchy vegetables (spinach, artichoke, asparagus, and more)

Physical activity

Nearly everyone is capable of committing to even just a few minutes of daily physical activity. The recommended amount is 30-60 minutes of moderate physical activity. The following low-impact activities can help start a healthy habit of regular exercise:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Tai chi
  • Hiking
  • Yoga
  • Golf
  • Pilates

Excess weight

Regular exercise, proper portion control, and nutrient-rich foods can reverse diabetes damage and lead to a healthier life. Just losing 5%-10% of body weight can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing weight is a long-term goal that pays off in improved self-esteem and a healthier body.

Smoking

Research has shown that people that smoke has a 30%-40% higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Continuing smoking can worsen pre-diabetes damage, which can lead to heart complications and even blindness. Stopping smoking reduces inflammation in the body and cell injury.

Speak with your doctor

Patients who are following a healthy diet and regular exercise routine should still check in with a doctor to keep track of any positive progress or worsening of diagnosis. Doctors may prescribe medication, if needed, to reduce appetite and glucose production in the liver. A multi-modal approach to reversing diabetes can turn a negative diagnosis into a positive outcome.

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