Prediabetic? How to Reverse it Naturally
Prediabetic? How to Reverse it Naturally By: Sayer Ji, Founder, Green Med Info
Are you one of the 84.1 million people in the United States who has been “pre-diagnosed” with diabetes? If so, here are practical steps you can take today to turn this looming crisis into a lifetime of better health.
Prediabetes, also referred to as impaired glucose tolerance, is the warning shot that says, “Stop now, and turn around.” Typically diagnosed through blood tests, a person is pre-diabetic if blood sugar is above normal, but not high enough for a formal diagnosis of diabetes, when tested on two separate occasions. The range for prediabetes, according to Mayo Clinic, is a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L). When blood sugar hits 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two tests, a person has diabetes.1
Prediabetes affects a full one-third of adults in America, many of whom show no symptoms. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., most of these individuals don’t even know they are prediabetic.2 Left untreated, the majority will develop Type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Type 2, or adult-onsetdiabetes, is a serious condition that can lead to kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, leg amputations, and even death. According to the CDC, Type 2 diabetes represents 90% of all diabetes cases in the United States.
A Silent Killer
Diabetes is often called “the silent killer” because by the time a person is diagnosed, irreversible damage may already have been done. Everyone over age 45 is encouraged to do the fasting blood glucose test. If you have any of the following warning signs,3 you should have your blood sugar checked by a health care professional, preferably one versed in integrative and/or functional medicine.
- Feeling very thirsty or hungry, despite having eaten or drank
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Hypoglycemia (typically experienced 2-3 hours after meals)
- Tingling or pain in your extremities
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent infections (urinary, vaginal, groin)
- Slow healing of wounds; extreme bruising
- Chronically dry, itchy skin
When it comes to disease, prevention is always preferable to treatment. And Type 2 diabetes is a totally preventable disease! Consider a diagnosis of prediabetes an opportunity to make lifestyle changes for the better, so you can shift these indicators back in the direction of good health.
How to Turn the Tide
Don’t let a diagnosis of prediabetes derail your future plans. This epidemic is largely preventable by following a few conscientious diet and lifestyle tips. In fact, Type 2 diabetes is proven to respond better to lifestyle interventions than to pharmaceutical drug treatment, many of which carry their own significant harms.4
The following good-health practices help to regulate blood sugar, and are critical for anyone diagnosed with prediabetes. They should also be practiced by pregnant women, or women who wish to become pregnant, due to the risk of gestational diabetes. Additionally, you may wish to take these preventative steps if you are currently overweight, have high blood pressure, or a family history of diabetes.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Hands-down, the most important factor in managing diabetes is regulating blood sugar balance. This is best achieved through diet. While there is still some debate on exactly which diet is best, eating more organic fruits and vegetables is one thing that everyone agrees on.