Diabetes management and treatment require patients to no longer do certain things—or at least as much as they used to—that they formerly did. To control blood sugar spikes, patients are mandated to control their diet, exercise more regularly, stop unhealthy lifestyle habits which they’re used to, take medications, and regularly book appointments with a specialist in severe cases. All of these requirements usually leave patients worried and stranded such that they find them difficult to implement.
Due to the strain diabetes management imparts on patients, specialists have considered it more expedient if patients start to control their blood sugar levels from the stage of prediabetes. Prediabetes, as the name implies, is that stage just before diabetes. The good part is that the treatment used for controlling prediabetes is also used for managing diabetes.
However, the strictness of the latter isn’t required for the former. This guide considers what prediabetes is all about. People with high blood sugar will know what prediabetes is, its blood sugar range, how to reverse it, and different effective steps for full and proper treatment.
What To Expect
- An Overview of What Prediabetes Entails
- The Risk Factor of Prediabetes
- The Complications of Prediabetes
- How to Reverse Prediabetes
- When to Meet a Doctor
- Medication for Prediabetes
- How Health Apps Help Against Prediabetes
- The Role of Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs)
An Overview of What Prediabetes Entails
Prediabetes is the stage just before patients develop diabetes; most people experience prediabetes before developing diabetes. The two have a common characteristic of high blood sugar levels. However, the difference is that the blood sugar level of prediabetes is significantly lower than what would be considered diabetes.
People with prediabetes will eventually develop diabetes if deliberate management methods aren’t implemented. On the bright side, there’s a high success rate of patients successfully reversing prediabetes and preventing diabetes.
However, patients will mostly need a prediabetes diagnosis. Without a diagnosis, many patients will develop diabetes. Since diabetes worsens insulin resistance and leads to severe complications like stroke and heart and kidney disease, it becomes more incumbent to treat prediabetes.
The next sections will highlight more about prediabetes and all patients need to know about managing and reversing their condition.
The Risk Factor of Prediabetes
Certain conditions and factors project your chances of developing prediabetes to astronomical heights, as we’ll observe below:
While a large waist size can be seen as a result of excess fat, it can also indicate insulin resistance — a marker of prediabetes. The risk factor of insulin resistance can go up for men and women with waist sizes of over 40 and 35 inches for men and women, respectively.
Obesity is a common risk factor for prediabetes; the more your tissues become fatty, the more prone you become to insulin resistance. Too much fat in tissue can lead to health complications like atherosclerosis. This can further lead to dangerous complications leading to the individual’s death.
People who consume foods high in carbs are subject to a great risk of prediabetes. Avoiding foods like processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages is an excellent approach to averting prediabetes. You can consult with your qualified dietician to help you with a guide on the appropriate meal and drink to take.
If you’re less active, you’re more prone to the risk of prediabetes. While physical activities help provide energy and improve an individual’s health, they also sensitize the body cells to insulin. This further helps to curb unusual spikes in blood sugar levels. Hence, it’s encouraged to be involved in exercises for an average of 15–30 minutes daily.
People that have obstructive respiration during sleep experience a great risk of prediabetes. This is a result of the relaxation of the muscles of the throat, common among persons that are overweight and obese. For one, people with sleep apnea have an increased risk of insulin resistance. In this light, it’s advised to see a doctor once you notice difficulty breathing during sleep.
The Complications of Prediabetes
Prediabetes may worsen and present alongside certain deadly conditions if not managed properly. Let’s have a look at the common ones.
Coronary Artery Diseases
Coronary heart diseases have to do with diseases that affect the heart; these ailments put you at risk of a heart attack, underscoring the need to treat prediabetes as a matter of urgency. This is a major complication as coronary vessels are those involved in the blood supply to and around the heart. This condition is triggered by deposits of fatty substances in the large blood vessels of the heart.
This is another dreadful health complication of prediabetes. It’s a brain disorder that results from a lack of or inadequate blood supply to the brain.
Peripheral Artery Disease
This is caused by a diminished blood flow to peripheral parts of the body, like the legs. The vessels of blood supply are mostly affected. This can result in deep pain in the muscles of the legs, and the calves called claudication.
Just like coronary artery diseases, this is also caused by fat deposition in blood vessels of the peripheral body parts.
The complications of prediabetes are so extensive that they also affect the eyes. Retinopathy is a disease of the eye that can lead to blindness. When prediabetes is left untreated, the patient is in danger of losing their vision.
This is a major complication that affects the entire human body. The nerves—in charge of transmitting signals all over the body—become affected when prediabetes isn’t treated as and when due. This complication affects the transmission of signals to various body parts, and in severe cases, it could lead to amputation in some people.
How to Reverse Prediabetes
With prediabetes’ risk factors and complications, it’s crucial to know how to treat the condition successfully. This section considers all that patients need to know about reversing prediabetes.
Eat a Clean Diet
Eating a clean diet doesn’t necessarily imply one has been ingesting some kind of unclean food. This means one should eat a diet that can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
One common cause of prediabetes is a diet rich in processed foods. These diets are termed unhealthy because they comprise contents that can cause health issues. Namely, they contain fats, calories, and sugar that have no significant nutritional value to consumers’ health.
To reverse prediabetes, you need to reduce your ingestion of such foods. It’s also essential to mention that red meat is another food that can increase your risk of prediabetes. Hence it’s advised to reduce its intake.
Instead, you can take foods with low carbs like vegetables, whole grain, lean meat, avocado, fish, etc.
Lose Excess Weight
Aside from the fact that many people get involved regularly to keep fit, one advantage of excess weight loss is that it helps burn excess fat. And this can be of positive relevance to your health. Shedding off 7–10% of your body fat can help stabilize your blood sugar level, helping to prevent prediabetes.
Managing your weight is vital for the normal functioning of the body parts. The problem of insulin resistance increases when you have a large waist size. Again, this figure sits at over 35 and 40 inches for women and men, respectively.
This might not seem easy for heavy consumers, but you could take meals in small portions of about 5 rounds in a day rather than consuming three large portions of food.
It’d be surprising to many how a lack of exercise could be a possible risk factor for prediabetes. While regular exercise is a struggle for many, a lack of continual physical activities can cause prediabetes.
As some may think, exercise isn’t only good for providing energy and improving mental health; it also boosts insulin sensitivity, thus helping to normalize sugar levels. This allows the cell to use insulin and function effectively.
Due to their schedule, exercise can be difficult for many, but you can help yourself by getting involved in physical activities for 15–30 minutes daily. You can start with this before going for workouts.
Stop Smoking Habits
Another factor that can contribute to prediabetes is smoking. Many people don’t know the danger associated with bad habits like smoking.
Aside from prediabetes, generally, smoking should be discouraged as it causes loads of health impairment. For one, it increases the risk of lung cancer and other heart diseases. More importantly, smoking contributes to insulin resistance, prediabetes, and even type 2 diabetes.
We all know quitting habits like smoking can be challenging. But you can help yourself by taking over-the-counter (OTC) products like nicotine gum instead. This can help to quit smoking and improve your health generally.
You can also consult with your physician to place you on medication that can help to reduce cravings for nicotine.
Deal With Sleep Apnea
Apnea simply means difficulty in breathing or cessation of respiration. This is a serious health issue as sleep apnea has been linked to insulin resistance.
As defined above, sleep apnea causes frequent cessation of breathing throughout the night. This is due to the relaxation of the muscles of the throat. Signs of this health issue include gasping for air during sleep, daytime sleepiness, choking during sleep, and loud snoring.
Sleep apnea poses many risks like prediabetes. Thankfully, treatment options for sleep apnea abound, including using oral appliances to contract the throat muscles when sleeping. Another treatment option is using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine; this helps to keep the air passage of the throat open for easy airflow.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water offers numerous positive contributions to human health, including its excellence in reversing prediabetes. It can also help to prevent issues of type 2 diabetes.
Water is something that can hardly be abused when it comes to health. It helps to control and regulate the body entirely. It also helps to control blood sugar levels.
Aside from the fact that water helps to reduce sugar levels, it’s also an ideal substitute for beverages like sodas and fruit juices. Beverages aren’t healthy food choices as they can contribute to the cause of prediabetes.
Consult With A Registered Dietitian
Since eating the right food that can help you manage health issues like prediabetes can be quite tricky, it’d be better to meet a dietician nutritionist. This is important as they’re best qualified to provide dietary suggestions to help you manage your blood sugar level. Even if your doctor gives dietary suggestions, meeting and working with a registered dietician is still preferred.
A registered dietician will help you with profound guidance on the right diet to take and the ones you should avoid to help reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes. Notably, they can help provide a good meal plan to help you maintain a normal blood sugar level.
Eat Fewer Carbs
Regarding ways to help you prevent prediabetes, consuming fewer carbs is at the top of the list. Choosing your carbohydrate meals carefully is important even if you’re committed to healthy nutrition. It’s recommended to consume foods with unprocessed carbs like beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
Foods like the aforementioned are rich in fiber. They take time to break, keeping one full for a long time. This means they get absorbed by the body slowly, abating an unusual increase in blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, foods like candy, yogurts, juices, and certain fruits can cause an unusual spike in sugar levels. This can be detrimental to health as it’s a risk factor for insulin resistance and prediabetes.
When to Meet a Doctor
While you can employ natural methods to treat and reverse prediabetes, knowing when to meet a doctor is equally important.
Meeting a doctor becomes necessary if you’re showing any signs of prediabetes. It becomes even more necessary to meet a doctor for diagnosis if you present any of the risk factors of prediabetes alongside. Since risk factors and symptoms go hand in hand, having both phenomena indicates that you may have diabetes.
The right specialist to consult is an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is a diabetes specialist doctor that treats everything diabetes. While general practitioners have a foundational understanding of diabetes and prediabetes, an endocrinologist will be of greater help.
Generally, the specialist will perform a blood sugar check and determine what type of management tips you need. In most cases, the natural reversal method will work. However, in rare cases, doctors will suggest other more advanced methods, which the next sections consider.
Medication for Prediabetes
Insulin therapy is a treatment usually recommended for diabetes in its latter stages. However, there are several cases where treatment based on the hormone insulin may be necessary following a successful prediabetes blood sugar test. When patients have high blood sugar and too much fat in their bodies that they need to lose weight, specialists may find it necessary for an occasional dose of basal insulin.
Basal insulin is background insulin that serves for long hours to several days. Apart from insulin therapy, your specialist may also suggest surgery. However, these two options are simply for special cases; other options outlined in the next section often suffice regarding prediabetes reversal.
How Health Apps Help Against PreDiabetes
Since prediabetes is a precursor to the more complicated diabetes, it’s only necessary to adopt measures that don’t lead to high blood sugar levels. While this guide has outlined several ways one can achieve such, this section highlights the role of apps in achieving healthy blood sugar control to eliminate the complications it can cause.
There are different types of healthy apps — those designed for a diet to encourage healthy eating and those that encourage people to exercise by counting steps. Also, some others encourage great tips that prevent high blood pressure.
Most regularly updated health apps require patients to subscribe often to access their services. This subscription is often monthly. However, some offer users the choice of making advance payments, quarterly and annually.
Here, we consider the different categories of health apps and how they aid better blood sugar control and prediabetes recovery.
Diet apps are designed to provide prediabetes and diabetes patients with updated information on the best meal choices. Diet or food apps are usually present as applications. However, these applications are designed by experts in the study of diabetes, including doctors, health practitioners, dietitians, and endocrinologists.
The app’s purpose is to serve as a food administrator that provides patients with the right food to eat. The aim is to ensure that people with prediabetes don’t rely on many sugar-filled carbs and eat only healthy fats to reduce high blood pressure.
Diabetes meal apps are among the most trusted food resources patients can use without much help from a specialist. Most of these apps are updated regularly, so additional meals designed to reduce blood sugar are added frequently to increase patient options and modify their choices.
Apart from the regular update, diabetes meal apps offer users a reliable routine that patients can trust. These special apps allow users to set their daily, weekly, and monthly diet routines to help them stay healthy and reduce their dependence on snacks and high blood sugar foods.
Many specialists recommend that patients use diet apps to control their blood sugar because of the success many people have achieved using them.
Exercise apps are another trustworthy category of self-help apps that patients can trust. Different types of exercise self-help apps are available to patients, which they can access from different expert providers. Exercise apps offer patients the option of performing moderate to intense exercises.
Most people with prediabetes or on the border of developing diabetes usually struggle with exercising. While a tight schedule is chief among the reasons behind this, the major obstacle is the psychological aspect that makes them feel cardiovascular activity and resistance training are too tasking. Exercise apps help eliminate that barrier through their different work rate available to patients.
Patients can use moderate exercise apps to gradually and regularly warm their bodies up to training. This regime usually includes fast walks, small, simple jogs and step counting. More intense options are usually available in these apps and are to be used by patients who have passed the moderate exercise stage. These exercises include advanced resistance training, running, and even sprinting.
Exercise apps are crucial, especially when the patients in question struggle with insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels. However, it’s important that patients also take dieting seriously.
Without appropriate dieting, it’ll be difficult for them to achieve much blood sugar control irrespective of their exercise effort. As such, they must consider diabetes-friendly apps a requirement to achieve an overall effective result.
Support Group Apps
Support group apps are health social apps for people with diabetes that allow them to commit to a community of people with the same condition. Support group apps have proven incredibly effective as they’ve helped patients with prediabetes handle the depression that comes with high blood sugar. Generally, since reversing prediabetes requires patients to do things they’re not exactly used to, they may battle certain psychological stress.
Many people who experience this psychological stress don’t know how to handle the changes with their meals, constant exercising, and appointments with medical experts. Studies show that people caught up in this web may become distressed and depressed, increasing their chances of slipping into diabetes.
With support groups, patients will connect to people in similar spaces and find companionship in their recovery journey. Support groups and social apps have helped people with prediabetes recover quickly and live more healthily. The good thing is that users are likely to find better tips to aid their recovery based on the experience of others who’ve successfully recovered or gone past the stage they’re currently dealing with.
There are different types of social and community diabetes groups; the apps patients go for will determine which community they’re matched with.
It’s important to note that there are hundreds of apps available online. However, some stand out following studies by experts. Patients should only go for these apps for the best results instead of picking anyone they find on the net.
Also, while patients may want to opt for an app that offers the jack-of-all-trade services, it’s advised to lean towards those with more specific services. The latter are more likely to offer deep services that aid the recovery from diabetes as opposed to those that only offer superficial services to users.
The Role of Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs)
Diabetes prevention programs (DPPs) are one of the most objective and effective ways to reverse prediabetes quickly and healthily. From the term, diabetes prevention program, it’s apparent that this option helps patients successfully reduce their high blood sugar levels before reaching the stage of diabetes.
DPPs are organized institutionalized campaigns sponsored mostly by public health institutions to help patients achieve their goal of reversing prediabetes. There are also private institutions involved in this program. However, most of them work hand in hand with public institutions.
These programs admit patients with high blood sugar risk and subject them to a mix of in-office and at-home treatments to help them successfully lower blood sugar levels and reverse prediabetes.
These programs aren’t only designed for prediabetes and great for helping patients handle diabetes and start their recovery journey. The good thing about these programs is that they don’t expose patients to only common practices that offer standard treatments. Rather, they employ other safe new methods to see how they enhance the process of boosting insulin sensitivity and achieving normal blood sugar levels.
The programs also focus on tackling the risk factors that cause prediabetes, like excess weight, high alcohol consumption, and inactiveness. Patients have generally enjoyed a high success rate in their goal to lower blood sugar levels and live healthily with a diabetes prevention program.
Some of the best diabetes prevention programs patients can join include:
- CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program: This program is designed for patients by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is among the most popular options.
- YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program: The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is among the most health-inclined Christian associations. The group provides patients with a diabetes prevention program to gain better health and live a life free from diabetes.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Diabetes Prevention Program (NIDDK DPP): This public health institution empowers patients with a robust diabetes prevention campaign.
The three institutions above aren’t the only option available to patients; several private institutions are still available. However, almost all of them feature the same prevention campaigns.
While some modifications and unique practices may exist, the underlying features remain the same. The major approaches boil down to dieting and exercising. Every other application, like medications, only complements these two main features.
Patients can join diabetes prevention programs without much requirement. It’s generally voluntary, and patients don’t necessarily need to spend much. The only main requirement needed to join one is consistently high blood sugar that borders prediabetes and diabetes.
Reversing prediabetes is generally not as difficult as treating diabetes. However, people with prediabetes usually slip into diabetes and may even battle the complications that the latter cause.
Due to the difficulty of managing diabetes, specialists recommend that patients treat prediabetes early on so that they never get to the stage of diabetes. This guide has considered the different ways patients can reverse diabetes, spanning both natural and medical methods.
However, a healthy diet stands out among the different methods highlighted in this piece. Prediabetes patients can generally reverse their condition with the single trick of dieting; all other methods usually complement this effort. For one, eating healthy leaves the body with significantly little carbohydrates and unhealthy fat that contribute to and worsen insulin resistance.
Diet apps are one of the major resources patients can use to reverse their condition. This article comprehensively and explicitly highlighted how patients could enjoy the benefits of using expert-vetted diet apps like our Klinio app.
Klinio offers patients every help they need to start eating healthy and continue eating healthily even after successfully reversing prediabetes. Our app is updated regularly to offer patients the tastiest meals they can get without worsening their blood sugar. Patients can also build a routine of the meals they eat, set weekly or daily meal plans, and even build a yearly meal plan without much requirement.