The word “prediabetes” is spoken about a lot in the news. Did you know that Prediabetes isn’t an official term used by the World Health Organization (WHO)?
So what exactly is Prediabetes?
In this post, we talk through what Prediabetes means and what you can do to reverse the path Prediabetes can take you on to type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes – Do I Have Actual Diabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition in which people have higher than normal blood sugar levels. The levels are not elevated enough to classify the person as having type 2 diabetes. Instead, they have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Which can be pretty scary to hear if you’ve just come in for a regular check-up at your doctor.
It’s important to remember: Prediabetes does not mean you have diabetes!
An example may help. If you smoke, your doctor will inform you that you are at greater risk of developing lung cancer. The doctor isn’t saying you have lung cancer.
It’s the same for Prediabetes, except that we happen to have a specific word for being at greater risk of full-blown diabetes!
The Medical Explanation
Prediabetes occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use its insulin as well as it should be able to do so.
The problem can also be called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG). These terms specifically refer to having higher-than-normal blood sugars. Elevated blood sugar can be detected via a blood test.
Testing For Prediabetes
Blood tests for Prediabetes can either be fasting or non-fasting. We have a helpful video that explains everything you need to know about having a blood test – check it out on Youtube here.
The most common test will be checking your HbA1c levels, which measure your average sugar levels over the past few months. If this number stands above 42mmol/mol (6%) – 47mmol/mol (6.4%), it’s time to make some changes – because it can lead to type 2 diabetes!
How To Reverse Prediabetes
The excellent news is Prediabetes can be prevented from turning into Type 2 diabetes.
It’s a lot easier to prevent Prediabetes from turning into full-blown diabetes than it is to manage things once you have been diagnosed with type two diabetes.
Most people who develop type 2 diabetes will do so due to weight gain and lack of exercise.
Prediabetes is often a warning sign that you are at risk of developing more severe conditions. It’s essential to make lifestyle changes before the disease progresses further.
But what is a healthy and balanced diet that can reverse the path to full diabetes?
To prevent Prediabetes from becoming full-blown diabetes, work on eating healthier foods – remember sugar has a massive effect on your blood sugar.
You can do this by cutting down on high-sugar foods and making the switch to healthier snacks, such as hummus with vegetables or an apple.
There are many special diets out there to choose from. Still, suppose you want a healthy one with the most benefits for your body and wallet. In that case, we recommend trying the Mediterranean diet or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
They’re both excellent choices for weight loss because they involve eating lots of fruits and vegetables while limiting added sugars like white bread, etc. These diets can help reduce cholesterol levels in our bodies and add more fibre to our diet!
That way, we get satisfied faster without overeating carbs at sugary meals, meaning fewer calories consumed overall (plus: money saved!)
But these two aren’t all that’s good: moderation is key too– eat only what tastes good on its own terms – no need to keep eating, even if you feel like you’ll be ‘wasting food’.
How much exercise should you do to reverse Prediabetes?
Small changes can make a world of difference.
You should always make sure you get enough exercise, but it can sometimes feel like it’s hard to find the time during your hectic schedule.
Try to squeeze in exercises, however small, whenever you can! Think about taking phone calls standing up, using stairs instead of the lift and going for an active lunch break! – try doing some regular walks around your local area!
This will help you lose weight over time. But make sure you don’t go overboard straight away! For example, stick to no more than 30 minutes of walking a day at first, then increase this over time.
Plus, being physically active helps Prediabetes and reduces the risk of many other diseases, including heart disease and some cancers.