Our Review Process
Our articles undergo extensive medical review by board-certified practitioners to confirm that all factual inferences with respect to medical conditions, symptoms, treatments, and protocols are legitimate, canonical, and adhere to current guidelines and the latest discoveries. Read more.
Our Editorial Team
Shifa Fatima, MSc.
Dr. Apoorva T, MHM.
Prediabetes - How to Control Diabetes in Early Stage
Learning effective ways how to control diabetes in the early stage is something that most doctors stress when they witness sugar levels or HbA1c going high. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, there is not much one can do but make several permanent changes to their daily life. However, before the proper onset of this condition, there is a lot you can do to make sure that it does not affect you and create havoc in your life. Diabetes can be a complicated condition to manage, prevent its onset in the early stages by doing the following:
Be physically active
Regular exercises are known to be highly advantageous in the prevention and delayed onset of diabetes. Exercise can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar levels, and promote better insulin flow in the body. All of these can help you keep your glucose levels in the normal range. Exercise routines can include – aerobic exercises like brisk walking, swimming, running, cycling, etc; resistance and strength training like using your body weight to build muscles, weight training, etc. A major aspect where you will have to maintain a check would be to limit inactivity. If you are sitting at the computer for a long time, make sure to stand up and take a walk every 30-45 minutes
Lose extra weight
Obesity increases the chance of developing diabetes. Higher weight is associated with greater chances of the development of diabetes and also more difficulty in the management of diabetes symptoms. People in one significant trial who lost around 7% of their body weight through dietary and activity improvements had a nearly 60% reduction in their chance of acquiring diabetes. To stop the condition from progressing, the American Diabetes Association advises people diagnosed with prediabetes to lose between 7% and 10% of their body weight. Greater advantages will result in further weight loss. Based on your current body weight, choose a weight loss target. Discuss attainable short-term objectives and expectations with your doctor, such as shedding 1 to 2 pounds each week.
Eat healthy plant foods
Plant-based foods are high in vitamins, minerals, and carbs. Sugars, starches, and fiber are all types of carbohydrates. These are the sources of energy for your body. Roughage and bulk are other terms for dietary fiber, which is the portion of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb. Foods high in fiber encourage weight reduction and reduce the incidence of diabetes. Consume a range of wholesome, high-fiber meals, such as:
- Fruits from trees, such as tomatoes, peppers, and other berries
- Non-starchy veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens
- Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are examples of legumes.
- Whole grains, such as quinoa, whole-grain rice, whole-grain oats, and whole-wheat pasta and bread
Among the advantages of fiber are:
- Reduce sugar levels and slowing sugar absorption
- Preventing the digestion of dietary cholesterol and lipids
- Managing risk factors that can better heart health, blood pressure, and inflammation
- More filling and better providers of energy.
Eat healthy fats
Since fatty meals are heavy in calories, they should only be consumed occasionally. Your diet should contain a range of foods containing unsaturated fats, sometimes referred to as "good fats," to aid in weight loss and management. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are both types of unsaturated fats, support normal blood cholesterol levels as well as heart and vascular health. Good fat sources include:
- Oils from olive, sunflower, and canola
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, flaxseed, and pumpkin
- Salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and cod.
Dairy products and meats include saturated fats, sometimes known as "bad fats” which should be consumed in small quantities. By consuming low-fat dairy products, lean poultry, and pork, you may reduce your intake of saturated fats.
Table of Contents
What is Early-Stage Diabetes (Prediabetes)?
If the blood sugar level of a person is higher than the normal range but not so high as a diabetes patient, this health condition is termed prediabetes or early-stage diabetes. Both children and adults can be affected by this ailment. If they do not start its treatment as soon as it is detected, it may soon lead to Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, if a person suffers from prediabetes for a long time, some important organs, like the heart and kidneys, may be damaged in the same way as seen in the case of a diabetes patient. The causes of prediabetes are almost similar to those causing Type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance of body cells can cause prediabetes, resulting from a metabolic disturbance in the body. Also know how to reverse diabetes.
Symptoms of Prediabetes
Too much thirst more than normal frequent urination at night continuous tiredness increased appetite blurred eyesight numb feeling in the hands and feet lateness in healing wounds get infected quite often unplanned loss of body weight darkening of the skin on neck, armpits, knuckles, elbows, and knees most of these symptoms are the same as those of Type 2 diabetes. Hence, it becomes difficult to differentiate between two conditions unless a blood glucose test is done.
How to Control Early Diabetes in 5 Ways
Cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from the diet
A person diagnosed with prediabetes needs to avoid sugary food items. They should avoid too much processed or refined foods, increasing their blood sugar level. Complex carbohydrates are not easily absorbed in the body cells, as they break down very slowly.On the contrary, refined carbohydrates quickly break down into glucose to be absorbed by blood cells. Hence, it is best to avoid processed sugar, syrups, white rice, white bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals, rich refined carbohydrates sources. Too many sugary foods, like pastries, carbonated soft drinks, jam, juices, candy, and sweets, are also eliminated from the diet of a prediabetes patient.
The ideal diet for a patient with early diabetes should comprise whole grains, lean meat, fish, less sugary fruits, and fresh vegetables. It is better to consult an expert dietician to know how to reverse early diabetes by having healthy meals daily. Foods with a high glycemic index can increase blood sugar levels. So, dieticians prescribe only low glycemic index foods, like wholegrain bread, carrots, beans, sweet potatoes, leafy vegetables, oats, and corns. Fiber-rich foods are also included in this diet chart, among which legumes, fruits, and vegetables are preferred. Lean meats, egg white, sea fish, shellfish, soybean products, and low-fat yogurts are rich sources of proteins and are included in the diet in prescribed amounts. Know about prediabetes diet.
The effect of nicotine can increase the blood sugar level in the human body. Insulin becomes less effective in lowering the glucose level due to the presence of nicotine in the body. Thus, regular smokers face a greater threat of being inflicted with prediabetes. It is seen that insulin regains its usual function after 8 weeks from when a person quits smoking. However, it may not be easy to stop the addiction to tobacco, for which many people need medical help from their doctors.
The habit of regular exercise is the best way to decrease the body's blood sugar level. It is seen that the lack of physical activities can lead to worsening the symptoms of prediabetes. The insulin resistance of the body cells can be increased only through a daily exercise regime, as declared by the doctors of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). After a vigorous workout session, body muscles consume more glucose to stay energetic. However, cardiac patients cannot do strenuous exercises, which can harm their health. They can only go for daily morning or evening walks, dancing, swimming, and cycling. Doctors recommend working out for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Everyone needs to drink a sufficient amount of water daily to keep the body cells adequately hydrated. Staying hydrated is more important for patients suffering from prediabetes to remain healthy. They should drink only normal water instead of soda, fruit juice, or other sugary drinks to quench their frequent thirst. The ideal amount of water that a person should drink depends on their height and weight, lifestyle, and climate. The frequency of urination of the patient also determines the amount of water they should be consuming in a day. The urine color should always be pale yellow, and a darker shade of the urine indicates the person is dehydrated and needs to drink more water. If prediabetes can be cured before it turns into Type 2 diabetes, patients can be saved from many other ailments. It is found that millions of adults are suffering from prediabetes worldwide. So, they should know how to control early diabetes, to be cured of this health problem.
Prevention of diabetes mellitus
Diabetes is a chronic condition wherein the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin produced is not used effectively by the body. This can affect the overall functioning of the body as blood sugar levels are often uncontrolled and high in such scenarios. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose. If blood glucose levels are not maintained in the optimal range, it can lead to several conditions and serious damage to the body’s systems like – the nervous system, impaired blood vessels, heart conditions, poor eyesight, etc. Therefore, the prevention of diabetes mellitus is highly important, especially in people who are at high-risk.
Type 1 diabetes, being autoimmune, may not always be prevented, however, type 2 diabetes can be delayed and prevented by simply taking a few important steps toward lifestyle change. Type 2 diabetes often occurs after the age of 30. Here are a few steps on how to avoid diabetes in the early stages and prevent its onset:
- Ensure that you are working hard to maintain an ideal body weight. The more your weight, the greater the chances of developing diabetes. Work to get rid of any visceral (abdominal) fat as that is the riskiest for the onset of diabetes.
- Exercise regularly to improve overall insulin sensitivity. Exercise will help your body use the excess sugar molecules in the form of energy and will also reduce weight. It is known to help with any diabetes-related complications as well
- Have a healthy diet and limit the intake of junk food, processed food, and sweetened food to once a week. This will keep your body fit, strong, and healthy. Avoid fatty foods.
- Ensure that you are not using any substances like cigarettes or alcohol regularly. Both can increase the chances of development of diabetes and can also mess up the cardiovascular system. Also know more about diabetes diet chart.
Read more about how to prevent diabetes
How to control prediabetes?
If your HbA1c levels suggest that you are borderline diabetic or prediabetic, learning how to control prediabetes would become of utmost importance. A key thing to remember would be that prediabetes does not have to turn into diabetes. Therefore, you can still turn things around with the right approach and lifestyle changes. Smaller things that you do every day can lead to bigger changes in the long run. Ensure that you are consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Among everything else, these are the two pillars of preventing prediabetes from turning into a full-blown diagnosis of diabetes. By managing these, you can ensure a significant difference in your weight that is also helpful in the control of prediabetes. Other small but vital steps that you can take would be:
- Better sleep cycle
- Proper stress management techniques
- Relaxation and practicing hobbies
- Yoga and meditation
- Proper medication and routine blood tests
- Visiting your healthcare professionals regularly
Also know how to reverse prediabetes.
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.