Prevent Prediabetes from Turning into Diabetes

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/29/2024

Modern diets are increasingly composed of processed foods and sugar additives. This means that prediabetes is only becoming more common, and it is important to understand how to stop prediabetes before it develops any further.

Learn about prediabetes, how it affects blood sugar levels, and what you can do to support your overall health.

Understanding Pre-diabetes and Diabetes

If you've looked at your medical reports, terms like blood sugar levels and A1C might seem familiar. These are critical indicators of pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Blood Sugar Levels in Pre-diabetes and Diabetes

The fuel for our bodies, glucose, is monitored by the level of sugar in our blood. But when this escalates beyond the normal range, it could indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes.

In pre-diabetic conditions, your blood sugars are higher than usual but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes.

High blood sugar levels can eventually result in the onset of Type 2 diabetes, a chronic metabolic disorder.

The Role of the A1C Test

Regular testing, such as an A1C test, is an essential part of managing these conditions. This test gives an average view of your blood sugar control over three months, helping detect early signs before they escalate into severe health issues.

The Role of Insulin in Blood Sugar Regulation

Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is essential for regulating blood sugar levels. When you consume edibles containing carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose and enter the bloodstream.

Insulin's Function in the Body

This is where insulin jumps into action. Its job is to let this glucose enter cells for energy use or storage. Insulin is a key that unlocks cells to take up sugar from your blood.

But when there’s too much glucose — perhaps because you’ve had more carbs than usual — extra insulin must be produced to help store all this surplus energy.

The Impact of High Blood Sugar Levels

Our bodies must produce even more insulin if we keep overloading our system with high-sugar foods and drinks. Over time, though, these elevated levels may start causing problems.

A chronic state of high blood sugar can lead to damage in arteries, forming plaque, which increases risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Diet and Insulin Levels

Our diet plays a pivotal role in insulin levels. Let's focus on how daily sugar and carbohydrate intake influences this.

Average Daily Sugar Consumption

An average person consumes around 17 teaspoons of added sugar every day. This doesn't even include carbs that our bodies convert into sugars.

High blood glucose levels due to overconsumption can force the pancreas to produce more insulin, potentially leading many people unknowingly toward diabetes.

Excessive consumption is one reason why many people are walking towards diabetes without knowing it. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars, hidden everywhere - from pasta sauces to breads.

How Excessive Carbohydrates Influence Insulin Levels

Eating too many carbohydrates can lead us down the same dangerous path as overloading sugar. When you ingest carbs, they get broken down into essential sugars circulating in your bloodstream. This prompts an increase in insulin production.

If you constantly snack or have carb-heavy meals throughout the day, it could mean trouble for your health. It puts pressure on the pancreas and may cause insulin resistance, a precursor to pre-diabetes and eventually full-blown diabetes if left unchecked.

Understanding Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a condition where cells in the body become less responsive to the effects of insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels and potentially contributing to the development of diabetes.

The Mechanism of Insulin Resistance

The pancreas responds by increasing its insulin output to maintain normal blood sugar levels, which can eventually lead to a decrease in overall production. This constant overproduction can lead to an eventual decline in overall production.

This can often persists for years unnoticed due to its lack of pronounced symptoms.

Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

Belly fat is a potential sign of prediabetes, although it could simply be indicating something else, not necessarily correlated with critical blood sugar levels.

Apart from weight gain around the midsection, other telltale signs include frequent urination and constant hunger.

Intermittent fasting on a notepad

Preventing Diabetes through Dietary Changes and Intermittent Fasting

The choices we make in our diets can have a significant impact on pre-diabetes and thus must be taken into consideration. The foods we choose can either tip the scales towards health or disease.

Cutting Out Carbs

A diet high in carbs isn’t just a one-way ticket to weight gain; it’s also a shortcut to spiking blood sugar levels. High-carb diets often lead to increased insulin production as your body tries hard but fails miserably at keeping up with its demand for glucose disposal.

Cutting carbs from our meals helps keep insulin resistance at bay and potentially prevent diabetes. I

The Role of Intermittent Fasting

Your pancreas is able to work best when it is given occasional breaks from insulin production. Intermittent fasting allows your pancreas some much-needed rest from constantly producing insulin.

This period helps regulate blood sugar levels while improving insulin sensitivity - all crucial steps in preventing diabetes.

Probiotics and Pre-Diabetes to Diabetes

When it comes to managing pre-diabetes, considering the role of probiotics can be valuable.

While specific recommendations for the "best probiotic for diabetes" may vary, research suggests that certain probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

These probiotics have the potential to positively influence the gut microbiome, which plays a crucial role in metabolic health.

While probiotics alone are not a substitute for proper medical care and lifestyle changes, they can be a supportive component of a holistic approach to managing blood sugar levels and the progression of diabetes.

It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable probiotic strategy for your specific needs and condition.

Conclusion

As our diets become increasingly dominated by processed foods and added sugars, the prevalence of prediabetes continues to rise, underscoring the importance of early intervention.

Understanding the nuances of prediabetes and its progression to diabetes is crucial for safeguarding our health. By adopting dietary changes, such as reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake, incorporating intermittent fasting, and considering the potential benefits of probiotics, we can take proactive steps to halt the advancement of prediabetes and promote overall well-being.

Through education, lifestyle modifications, and proactive healthcare, we can collectively work towards preventing the onset of diabetes and fostering a healthier future for ourselves and future generations.

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