So you got your blood test results today and you were told that your blood sugar levels were higher than normal but not high enough to be a diabetic. The doctor classified your diagnosis as pre-diabetes. Some may panic thinking it’s going to turn into diabetes and some may just dismiss it as nothing important. However, pre-diabetes is a serious condition that requires simple lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes. If left ignored, pre-diabetes can turn into full blown diabetes in a few years.
What is pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are at a borderline high, but just short of being diabetes. At this stage, the body is capable of producing the insulin hormone but may not be processing t well. Main reasons for pre-diabetes are unhealthy food and sedentary lifestyle. Making simple changes in your lifestyle today can help you delay or even prevent the onset of diabetes. Generally the pre-diabetic range of blood sugar levels is
- Above 100 mg/dL but lower than 126 mg/dL for a fasting blood test
- Above 140 mg/dL but lower than 200 mg/dL for an after meal blood test
- 5.7% to 6.4% for HbA1c levels
How can I reverse my condition?
Diabetes and pre-diabetes are largely lifestyle based diseases. Introducing a healthy lifestyle and warding off some bad habits can significantly help control your blood sugar levels and avoid other complications associated with this condition. Here are some simple lifestyle tips to reverse your pre-diabetic condition:
Lose weight: Obesity or excess weight, particularly around the abdomen is a major factor for high blood sugar. The higher the fat around the abdomen, the lesser is the ability of the body to process insulin. Even loosing 5 kgs can impact your blood sugar levels instantly. So work towards getting your weight in the normal range. Start with some gentle exercises and be careful of what you eat.
Get more active: Physical activity is essential to regulate blood glucose levels. It is only when the body is active that energy is used and prevented from turning into fat. This is also a great way to lose excess fat and keep your weight in check. Introduce some form of exercise in your daily routine. It does not always have to be hours spend at the gym, instead you can go for a walk, do some yoga or even some light aerobic exercises. Do whatever you enjoy for at least 30 mins, 5 days a week. Also, be more active through the day. Get up and stretch every half hour, or walk around after sitting for too long. Every bit helps.
Eat right: No matter how many hours you spend on the treadmill, if you don’t make changes in the kitchen, it won’t help. You cannot come from your workout and have a pizza and expect blood sugar levels to fall. Eating healthy meals with nutritious vegetables is a must to control glucose levels. Leave the processed flour and white bread, and choose wholegrain and other high-fiber foods. Also, snacking on chips and other packets is terrible as they are loaded with hidden sugars. Instead take a bowl of fresh fruits or some nuts. If you do want to have chips, take a small serving in a bowl and do not sit with the entire pack.
Leave the all-nighters: Lack of sleep and not sleeping at night can create havoc for blood sugar levels. When the body doesn’t get its required rest period, it becomes tougher to process insulin, increasing the risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Also, lack of sleep has been known to interfere with weight loss. So be sure to go to sleep at a decent hour and give your body the rest it needs to be healthy.
Adopt these simple changes as part of your lifestyle and you will see positive changes in your blood glucose levels. Also, you will feel better and be healthier overall. Be sure to check in with your doctor as and when required for confirmation that you’re hard work is being channelled in the right direction. After all, every bit of positive reinforcement is great for motivation!