What next after a pre-diabetic diagnosis?

Michelle Ryan first qualified as a nutritionist with the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) in 2011, and recently returned to study, achieving a diploma in Coaching Mental Health and Wellbeing. Michelle explains the reasons for changing to a healthier lifestyle following a pre-diabetic diagnosis.

Change is always possible, albeit not without challenges. Most of us are aware that when we visit the doctor, and complete a blood test, it may result in a pre-diabetic range. We may silently nod and walk away not really understanding what that means; and more importantly how to manage it. Becoming a pre-diabetic can happen without us knowing, and we can walk through life every day with aches and pains, not understanding what is going on with our body. However this is a manageable condition when taken seriously and is very treatable when managed correctly. People with pre-diabetes have a high risk of developing other conditions like heart disease and inflammation and it is always best to get bloods checked yearly to understand what is going on the inside, as our bodies change continuously as we age.

Pre-diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is higher than normal, but is not high enough for you to have a diagnosis of type two diabetes. Pre-diabetes is the stage before a diagnosis of type two diabetes. A normal fasting blood sugar level is below 100; whereas, the level of a person with pre-diabetes is between 100 and 126.

Here are some of the symptoms that may be associated with pre-diabetes:

• Increased thirst: Feeling excessively thirsty and needing to drink more water than usual.

• Frequent urination: Having to urinate more frequently, especially during the night.

• Fatigue: Feeling tired or lacking energy, even after getting adequate rest.

• Increased hunger: Experiencing intense hunger or cravings, particularly for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods.

• Weight changes: Unexplained weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.

• Blurred vision: Experiencing blurry vision or changes in eyesight.

• Slow wound healing: Cuts, bruises, or sores taking longer than usual to heal.

• Digestion: bloating, foods not digesting correctly with aches and pains

• Sugar cravings: consistently, constantly wanting sugar during day

• Low energy: waking in mornings tired and feeling exhausted during day

If you tick any of the above, then maybe now is the time to change towards a healthier way of life. It is also good to know that research evidence now suggests a link between pre-diabetes and our gut health. This is because our gut microbiota, which is the community of microorganisms in our digestive tract, plays a role in various aspects of our health, including metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Imbalances in the gut microbiota, known as dysbiosis or inflammation in the gut, have been associated with insulin resistance, blood sugar imbalance, and are continuously being researched.  

Getting the gut right can be a key ingredient to balance and manage long term health. In working towards a healthy gut, eating right is always important, including for diagnosed pre-diabetes and for our overall health management for long term health strategies. If pre-diabetes is taken seriously, type two diabetes can often be prevented or delayed. Being active and taking control can be first steps, like losing weight if you’re overweight and eating healthy food, which can make a huge difference to inside health and outside feeling good.  

Start by creating healthier habits to significantly improve your overall wellbeing and help you manage the pre in being diagnosed a pre-diabetic!

Here are a few suggestions to get kick start you on a healthier path:

• Balanced diet: Focus on consuming a variety of nutritious foods, including whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Limit your intake of sugary, processed foods and alcohol.

• Portion size: Be mindful of your portion sizes to avoid overeating, reduce your plate size. Use smaller plates and pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.

• Regular exercise: Engage in physical activity for at least three times per week to challenge yourself. Choose activities you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. 

• Weight management: If you’re overweight, losing even a small amount of weight can have a positive impact on your blood sugar levels. Aim for gradual, sustainable weight loss about one to two pounds a week through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.

• Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support overall health and maintain optimal hydration.

• Stress management: Stress can affect blood sugar levels even more these days, so finding healthy ways to manage stress is very important. Consider activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

The good news is that you can change the way you look and feel. The commitment is the work this takes.  The nutritional approach treats the whole person with unique needs, and involves feeding and eating the right foods for you, and nurturing your entire being – simple but effective tools to improve the way you feel whilst supporting your health progress, and make any necessary adjustments. It’s crucial to develop a personalised plan and support that suits your needs. 

It’s important to note that some individuals with pre-diabetes may not experience any noticeable symptoms, and may not know they have a condition. Going for regular check-ups and blood tests are crucial for detecting pre-diabetes or any other abnormalities in blood levels. 

Take control of your lifestyle, and increase your chances of living a longer life and feeling healthier by increasing your energy, losing weight, reducing stress and increasing overall wellness by balancing your blood sugar and getting back on track. Taking on any new change of diet can be challenging, even more so when it’s unclear, with no guidance on what to eat and where to buy it. I support my clients with an easy-to-follow plan and workaround foods to achieve long-term success.

Try the tips above out for yourself this month and see if any of your symptoms improve. If you have been struggling with blood sugar imbalance, just told you have pre-diabetic symptoms, are suffering with digestive problems for a while, consider booking in for a consultation call. I can help you understand what might be going on in your health and take greater steps towards a resolution.

Michelle promises that everybody can achieve better health: “Make the right choices for your body, wellbeing, the results can be life changing.”

Call Michelle on 087 6704930 to enquire about a consultation, an intolerance test, and if it’s the right option for you. Visit www.bwellhive.ie

WCP Staff

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