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Prediabetes: What It Is and How To Reverse It

Over 84.1 million Americans live with prediabetes, but a quarter of them don’t know they have it according to a report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are elevated but not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. It’s often symptom-less and can be detected through routine blood work performed by your doctor. However, it sometimes presents as increased thirst and urination, weight gain, and darkened skin around your neck, armpits, elbows, knees, and knuckles.

Prediabetes means your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is high unless you make some lifestyle changes. With a healthy diet and exercise, you can reverse a prediabetes diagnosis and stave off the development of type 2 diabetes. Here are the two major steps you can follow to reverse prediabetes.

1. Low-carbohydrate diet

A healthy diet is crucial to managing and reversing a prediabetes diagnosis. A common misconception is that sugar causes diabetes, but the main culprit is usually carbohydrates. The Ketogenic Diet is a great option for those who fall in the diabetic or prediabetic range because it centers on severe restriction of carbohydrates and encourages consumption of healthy fats like avocado and extra virgin olive oil. Always consult with your doctor before beginning a restrictive diet.

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2. High-intensity burst exercise

Exercise is crucial for reversing a prediabetes diagnosis, especially exercises that build muscle. The American Heart Association suggests short bursts of high-intensity exercise improve overall health and fat-burning better than extended sessions of exercise. The study also determined that “burst exercise patients experienced more than a two-fold greater improvement in HbA1c levels,” the glycated haemoglobin levels used to test for diabetes.

You might be at risk of a prediabetes diagnosis if you are overweight, carry excess weight around your abdomen, lack physical exercise, and have a family history of diabetes. Some ethnicities like African Americans, Mexican Americans, and American Indians run a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you think you might have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, take this simple test and talk with your doctor to develop a health plan that can return you to good health.