Do you have Pre-Diabetes, which is a precursor to developing Type 2 Diabetes? If you are diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes, how can do to reverse this condition and prevent developing full-blown Type 2 Diabetes? The good news is yes, you can prevent Pre-Diabetes, and if you have this condition by taking steps now you can reverse Pre-Diabetes and prevent it from becoming Type 2 Diabetes.
Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes is the fully preventable and avoidable form of this metabolic disorder by making diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Even if you are diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, if the condition is caught early, with simple modifications to your diet, adding a daily exercise regimen and making lifestyle changes, which you will learn about in this article, you can prevent or reverse Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes without medical intervention, such as pills, daily checking of your total insulin levels or taking daily insulin shots.
What is Pre-Diabetes
Before a person develops full-blown Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, commonly called Type 2 Diabetes, they develop a condition called Pre-Diabetes. People with Pre-Diabetes have one or more risk factors, and are at high risk of developing into full-blown diabetes, such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension, high LDL cholesterol, or insulin resistance.
It is estimated that 79 million people in the US have Pre-Diabetes. This condition, also referred to as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), is defined as person having elevated blood glucose levels (blood sugar), and may have some diabetes symptoms, but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
Most people with Prediabetes don’t even know they have it, since there are few outward symptoms of Prediabetes, and this condition can take 10 to 12 years to eventually develop into Type 2 Diabetes. This blood glucose condition is usually only detected when people go to the doctor for a physical, eye exam, notice changes such as frequent urination or increased thirst, or due to a family history of Type 2 Diabetes.
If you notice dark skin patches, called acanthosis nigricans, developing especially around the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles, this is commonly missed sign that a person is prediabetic and a visit to the doctor will most likely diagnose pre-diabetes. These symptoms are often confuses for just dry skin.
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Some Type 2 Diabetes Statistics you Need to Know
In a 2011 report from the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million people in the US have Type 2 Diabetes, which is about 8.3% of the population. Of that number, approximately 18.8 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, but what is troubling is that another 7 million people are walking around with an undiagnosed case of diabetes, meaning the longer these adults and children go undetected via lack of exercise and poor diet, the greater likelihood they will develop obesity; heart disease; cancer or other disease; nerve damage, or suffer a heart attack or stroke at some time in their life.
Even more alarming than these troubling statistics about the state of health of Americans, is that 79 million people are showing symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes, which is a fully treatable and reversible condition called pre-diabetes, and left untreated nearly 2 million new cases of Type 2 Diabetes will be diagnosed each year. While people are born with or develop Type 1 Diabetes, called juvenile diabetes, by age 3, Type 2 Diabetes is completely avoidable. The increasing number of reported cases of diabetes is attributed to a lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle among adults and children, unhealthy diet high in salt, sugar, trans fats and cholesterol, obesity from over consumption of foods, and heredity. Other factors that can result in developing Type 2 Diabetes are stress, anxiety, depression and emotional eating.
Are you at Risk of Developing Pre-Diabetes?
Do you have one or more of the risk factors for developing Pre-Diabetes and eventually Type 2 Diabetes? You might if you answer yes to one or more of these questions:
- Are you obese or 25 pounds or more overweight?
- Are you over 45 years old?
- Do you have heart disease?
- Have you noticed a worsening of your eyesight?
- Do you have dark or dry skin patches on neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles, and have not been diagnosed with psoriasis?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you eat an unhealthy diet high in trans-fats, sugar, sodium and cholesterol?
- Do you exercise less than 30 minutes a day for 3 days or more days a week?
- Do you have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes?
- Are you in one of the ethnic groups that has historically high levels of diabetes: Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, Black, Pacific Island?
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you have risk factors for developing Pre-Diabetes or full-blown Type 2 Diabetes. Since there are generally no outward signs or symptoms of pre-diabetes, it is recommended that you see your doctor as soon as possible for a physical to see if you are a candidate for or have pre-diabetes, or possibly you may be diagnosed with full-blown Type 2 Diabetes.
It takes approximately 10 years for pre-diabetes to develop into Type 2 Diabetes, so there is time to reverse the chances of developing Diabetes if you take steps now.
Most people don’t even know they have pre-diabetes, and only see the doctor when multiple symptoms appear and a case of Type 2 Diabetes in diagnosed.
Common Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
- Increased or frequent thirst
- Frequent urination
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
- Nerve Pain
- Blurred or worsening vision
- Hungry even after eating a meal
- Frequent headaches
- Numbness in hands and feet
- Erectile Dysfunction in men
How to Reverse or Prevent Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes or think you may be a candidate, since you have one or more of the risk factors, by making diet, exercise and lifestyle changes now, you can reverse or prevent pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.
If you have been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, your doctor will want you to make diet modifications, or have you meet with a dietitian to create a new diet program for you to eliminate trans-fats, such as partially hydrogenated oil, sodium, refined sugar and cholesterol.
You will quickly discover that there are plenty of delicious, nutritious and healthy foods you can eat that will help you control your intake of trans-fats, sodium, refined sugar and cholesterol to control your Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes symptoms.
If you do not exercise, you will want to begin an exercise program of 30 minutes a day, at least three days a week. If you are new to exercise, begin slowly by walking or bike riding, and slowly working up to more rigorous exercises using weights. During a rigorous muscle exercise program, the muscles require blood sugar for energy, and will quickly use up the excess blood glucose in your body, which will create insulin sensitivity, which means your cells are able to take up and use the insulin more efficiently. Over tine this will reverse Pre-Diabetes symptoms, and can help control or reverse Type 2 Diabetes as well.
Exercise will also reduce the amount of excess fat in your, and excess fat results in insulin resistance, which is the leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes. Insulin resistance is when the hormone insulin in the body is not able to take up and use excess blood sugar, so the pancreas keeps producing more and more insulin to convert blood sugar to energy. Eventually the excess insulin in the blood is no longer effective at converting sugar, called insulin resistance. The build up of unused blood sugar eventually causes Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 (Type 2 Diabetes).
See your doctor before beginning any exercise program, to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise. If you have Type 2 Diabetes, you will want to check your blood sugar levels before and after exercise, to prevent a sudden spike or drop in blood sugar, which can be dangerous.
If you smoke, you should stop smoking now. If you need help, you can check out a great stop smoking program here.
If you drink alcohol, you should stop drinking alcohol, as alcohol is converted to sugar in the body, and can lead to insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome.
To Your Health!
Ken Weiss is a health blogger who is passionate about natural and holistic cures for men’s health issues. He is the founder of menshealthcures.com
Dr. Jocelyn, thanks for your comment. You are 100% correct. Most people with pre-diabetes never experience symptoms until they develop full blown Type 2 diabetes. Pre-Diabetes is usually only detected during a physical exam, or eye exam, and this is where critical lifestyle changes can be made to prevent development of Type 2 Diabetes.
Most people who have pre-diabetes do not experience any symptoms. In most cases, they will only learn about their health problem when they check their blood sugar level. On the other hand, many patients with diabetes only learn of their condition once they develop complications due to high blood sugar levels.
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The former condition contracts the individual at a pretty young age. Type 1 diabetes makes the patient insulin dependent as there is no production of hormone insulin by the body.
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