Guest feature from Vitals.com
Hearing you’re pre-diabetic can be upsetting – but it’s not a life-sentence, nor does it seal your fate that diabetes is definitely in your future. Making lifestyle changes now can help prevent the condition from becoming a full blown illness. As a pre-diabetic, you’re already at risk for damage starting to happen to your heart and circulatory system. But by committing to healthier choices and lifestyle improvements, you can stop the progression and improve your health.
Here are five ways to manage pre-diabetes now before it gets worse.
- Improve Your Diet. Trade in your carb-heavy and nutrient empty foods.
- Eat low carb vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, green beans, carrots, celery, peppers
- Have helpings of natural fruits daily
- Include high-fiber foods daily
- Avoid processed grains like white rice
- Select low-fat cheese and yogurt
- Ditch diet soda. Studies have shown that diet soda can cause insulin-resistance.
- Drink flavored water or tea
- Lose Weight. For some people, the thought of a strict weight reduction diet is daunting, but patients who only have a 5 to 7 percent weight loss can feel a significant improvement. Studies show a loss of 10-14 pounds (in someone weighing 200 pounds) slashed the odds of getting diabetes by 58 percent.
- Exercise Regularly. Daily exercise reduces sugar levels in the blood and lowers body fat. An ideal exercise goal to shoot for is regular exercise lasting a half-hour, five days each week. Rather than viewing exercise as a burden, think of little ways that you can increase your physical activity:
- Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park the car further from your destination and walk the extra steps
- Take a five minute stretch break from the computer sporadically
- Walk briskly around the neighborhood
- Improve Sleep Habits. A link between poor sleep, obesity and hormone levels has been established for decades. Researchers at the National Sleep Foundation demonstrated that subjects having only 4 hours sleep for 6 nights had insufficient insulin levels and a 40 percent lower glucose tolerance, making it difficult to break down glucose from their metabolism. Restorative growth hormones don’t have time to reproduce when the body doesn’t get enough sleep. Instead, cortisol levels, known as stress hormones, and ghrelin, an appetite stimulant, increase. The lesson: get at least 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Visit Your Doctor More Frequently. Having a visit every 3 to 6 months for an assessment of your glucose level will inform you whether you’re on the right track or need to make further adjustments to your new lifestyle regime. If diabetes is imminent, the condition will be detected earlier and stringent medical intervention can take place.