Managing Your Borderline Diabetes With Lifestyle Modification
With today’s sedentary lifestyle and fast food culture, the fact is that diabetes is on the rise in an alarming way. Yet managing borderline diabetes has never been easier with some simple lifestyle and diet tweaks.
According to Dr. Mark Janowski, American Board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics now at Eternity Medicine Institute, ‘borderline diabetes’ is now referred to as pre-diabetes. “This is when someone has glucose levels that are higher than normal,but not high enough yet to be categorized as diabetes,” he says, and these people are considered to be at a much higher risk for suffering a heart attack or stroke and are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Pre-diabetes, tells Dr. Janowskican be fairly easily diagnosed through one of several blood tests: fasting blood glucose, oral glucose tolerance test, and/or HbA1c (also called A1c or glycohemoglobin.)For most people with pre-diabetes there are no symptoms. However, he indicates that symptoms can include fatigue, inability to lose weight, darkened areas of the skin, high blood pressure, and others.
Key Dietary Changes
Cutting back on carbohydrates is absolutely essential –in particular sugars and the refined carbs such as pastas, rice, and breads. “Add a large amount of fresh vegetables to the diet will also have a very positive effect on blood sugar level management,” he says, advocating the Paleo Diet. “I have seen countless success stories among my patient when they have adopted a strict Paleo diet.” In contrast, when those with pre-diabetes or diabetes continue to eat the Western diet which is heavy in refined carbohydrates and sugars, the situation continues to worsen over the years. “Basically in a nutshell; refined and sugary carbs are extremely harmful to the body and place tremendous stress on the body,” he says. Vegetables, such as carrots or celery and raw nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts will help keep hunger at bay while also providing excellent nutritional value to the body.
Fitness is of course important to the health of us all, but for those with pre-diabetes or diabetes, Dr. Janowski urges that it is important to note that exercise has a positive effect on improving insulin sensitivity. “In the body, more glucose is used by muscle than other tissue, and so active muscles tend to burn their stored glucose for energy and then refill their reserves with glucose taken from the bloodstream –all helping to keep blood glucose levels in balance,” he says. If you are just starting out, he advises to begin with regular walks and overtime, increase the speed. “A mix of cardiovascular exercise and weight training is advised, and you should increase your intensity as you get fitter,” he says.