Why your doctor’s advice to “watch it”
is the worst advice you could follow.
(Before proceeding with the topics of pre-diabetes and diabetes, I highly recommend that you read my article on insulin resistance (HERE), as pre-diabetes is preceeded typically by years of insulin resistance.)
Saying you are pre-diabetic is kinda like saying you are a “little bit” pregnant. By the time Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance has been building for years, possibly a decade or more.
Pre-diabetes is defined as an A1c of 5.7% to 6.4%, fasting blood glucose of 100-125 or a two hour OGTT result of 140-199.
If you are diagnosed within this range, you will most likely be told “we’ll keep an eye on it” or “we’ll just watch it.” My question is this, “watch it do what? Turn into full blown Type 2?” Because that is exactly what will happen unless you ignore that advice, and ACT PROMPTLY! The longer you wait, the more damage you will do to major organs, including your heart (and arteries), brain, liver, kidneys and pancreas. In fact, this damage is going on WELL below the current defined level of “pre-diabetes.” This is NO TIME to be passive. Everyone can and should strive for truly normal blood sugars. What is a normal blood sugar? Normal blood glucose (NOT “diabetic normal”) is below 90 at fasting and below about 110 post meal. Using that guideline, I personally strive for fastings between 75-85, with post meal blood sugar below 100. How do you accomplish that? By avoiding foods that significantly raise your blood sugar above normal levels. As a pre-diabetic, should you be checking your blood sugar? ABSOLUTELY! In fact, in my opinion, every adult should own a blood glucose monitor, PARTICULARLY if…
- You have a history of diabetes in your family
- You are overweight
- You are normal weight but have belly fat
- You have blood pressure above normal range
- You have elevated triglycerides and/or low HDL
- You have PCOS
- You had gestational diabetes
- You have reactive hypoglycemia
If any of these apply to you, I suggest you get a blood sugar monitor ASAP. They can be purchased inexpensively and without a prescription at most major drug stores. For at least two weeks, check your fasting blood sugar. Test at 1 and 2 hours after every meal. Record your findings. Ask your doctor for an A1c and a fasting insulin level. (Click HERE for a helpful article on how to get what you need from your doctor.) You should be looking for an A1c of about 5% and a fasting insulin level at least below 5 but preferably below 3. Even if your fasting blood sugars are normal, if your fasting insulin level is elevated, this could indicate that you are becoming insulin resistant. You are well on your way to Type 2.
So, what do you do if any of these elements ARE abnormal? Time to get to work! The GOOD NEWS is that pre-diabetes is reversible. The earlier it is reversed, and the least damage that has occurred, the easier it will be.
How is it reversed? With a diet low in poor processed, refined or poor quality carbohydrates (focusing on whole-food low glycemic, fibrous carbohydrates), moderate in protein and rich in healthy fats. The answer to reversing pre-diabetes is NOT, I repeat NOT a low fat – low calorie diet.
Below are free e-books that will help you on your journey to reverse your pre-diabetes. The first is my story. The second is from a treatment center that focuses on natural treatment of diabetes. I suggest reading them and applying the suggestions. However, I STILL want you to regularly test your blood sugar at fasting and 1 hour post meal. This will help you tweak your way of eating to live within your own personal ability to tolerate carbohydrates. In other words, if your blood sugars are not controlled, further adjust your carbohydrate intake downward. I often say “eat the way your blood sugar monitor says to.”
This is how I reversed my pre-diabetes. I went from an A1c of of 6.3% to 5.0% without ever taking any medication. My fasting and pre-meal blood sugars are in the 70’s-80’s range with my post meal in the 80’s-90’s range. My fasting insulin levels are now normal. So this can be done! Best wishes to you in doing it!
My free e-booklet
Click the Image
For this free e-booklet courtesy of Sweetlife Diabetes Centers
Click the Image.
After posting my thoughts above, someone shared this excellent article with me, entitled, “The Lie That Is Killing Us: Prediabetes.” Click HERE to read.