Prediabetes means that a person has an elevated blood sugar level that is not high enough to be deemed diabetes. Over the past 30 years, prediabetes has increased dramatically, and often it’s accompanied by no symptoms.
About 1 in 3 Americans has prediabetes and most don’t know they have it. Even more startling, is the explosion of prediabetes and diabetes worldwide. For example, about half of adults in China have prediabetes. [Ref 1.]
Signs of prediabetes may include weight gain, and darkening of the skin on the neck, armpits, elbows, knuckles and high blood pressure. By far, most people have no symptoms and are completely unaware of the problem. As the blood sugar rises, serious symptoms may develop, such as thirst, frequent urination, and blurry vision. Preventable complications include heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease.
3 Common causes of prediabetes:
- Weight gain. Belly fat is one of the main causes of insulin resistance. Although the body produces insulin, the cells stop responding to it.
- Inflammatory foods. Fatty foods, including meat and other animal products increase the risk of developing inflammation, insulin resistance, and prediabetes. Sugar causes inflammation and increases the blood glucose level, however, sugar is not actually the root cause of prediabetes.
- Inactivity. If you don’t get enough exercise, your risk of prediabetes and diabetes increases significantly. When you walk or exercise, your muscles burn glucose as fuel, helping to keep your blood sugar in the normal range. When I am working with students in my online course, I encourage them to take a walk after meals. Healthy lifestyle habits are essential for keeping blood sugar under control.
- Unfortunately, in our modern society, prolonged sitting at the computer or in front of the TV screen often promotes weight gain, inflammation, and insulin resistance. For clear strategies that may help you maintain balanced blood sugar levels, download the free Guide to Overcoming Diabetes Naturally.
Prediabetes is diabetes
Prediabetes is a misleading term because it implies that the condition is not a problem yet. It can lead to a false sense of security, causing you to walk out of your doctor’s office relieved that you don’t have diabetes yet. However, in reality, the only difference between prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is the severity of the disease.
Initially, the pancreas compensates by pumping out greater amounts of insulin. As you can imagine, that is not sustainable indefinitely. Eventually, the overworked pancreas fatigues and the blood sugar levels begin to rise considerably. Of course, at that point, more noticeable symptoms may develop as well.
Thirteen years ago, I personally experienced prediabetes. I was experiencing pneumonia and exhaustion. More troubling, I was not responding to treatment with antibiotics. By the way, these are classic signs of diabetes. I decided to eat whole plant-based foods, and my results were life changing. My blood sugar returned to normal and I regained my energy. For me the results were remarkable. My only regret is that I did not change my diet and lifestyle sooner.
A research study of over 3200 adults showed that healthy lifestyle changes reduced the participants’ chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% compared to the people who took a placebo. The people in the lifestyle change group ate less fat and fewer calories and exercised 150 minutes per week. The amazing part is that 15 years later, the lifestyle change group still had a 27 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.[Ref 2]
Prediabetes is not something that you have to live with. Through a healthy diet and lifestyle, it is absolutely possible to change and live a healthier and more productive life. You can download the FREE resource guide for tips that help maintain a stable blood sugar level long term.
If you are ready to learn more, join our FREE Facebook Group, Natural Solutions for Diabetes. It’s time to get the empowering information you need so that you can enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Your next step to healthy starts today.
Ref 1. Rate of diabetes in China “explosive”. World Health Organization website.
Ref 2. Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) | NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed July 6, 2020.
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
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