Many people don’t seem to take prediabetes seriously. They feel like, “Well, it’s not yet diabetes, so what’s the big deal?” Well, if you are showing symptoms of unmanaged blood sugar levels, you are advised to take active steps to reverse prediabetes.
Else, if permitted, it can turn into full-blown type-II diabetes, which is a huge problem.
Prediabetes, just as the name implies, comes before diabetes. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as “Borderline Diabetes.” It is the border between what is normal and what is not. ‘Normal’ in this sense refers to blood sugar levels.
In this post we will look into the symptoms and triggers of prediabetes. Then we will go through Ayurvedic treatment, diet and lifestyle to reverse prediabetes in a natural way. Let’s get started.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes, or Borderline Diabetes, is a state in which a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be classified as diabetes.
This doesn’t mean, however, that it is not a serious condition. In fact, you should take it just as seriously as you would take diabetes.
Prediabetes puts you at about the same risk as someone with diabetes. And it usually stays hidden until it has become full-blown diabetes.
Each year, seven million people develop diabetes. These seven million people likely did not know that they had prediabetes before that.
50-80% of people, who even have diabetes are unaware of the fact. Yet, about 3.8 million people die yearly from diabetes. Not to talk of the complications like heart problems, nerve damage, stroke, and all the other numerous complications that come with prediabetes.
So, if you’re lucky enough to have had your discovered at the prediabetes level, you have a great advantage.
Congratulations! It is easier to reverse prediabetes than it is to manage diabetes. Start taking steps immediately. Right away! Do not lose this advantage.
What causes prediabetes? How does Prediabetes Develop?
Prediabetes happens due to insulin resistance. See, there are two hormones mainly involved in regulating blood sugar. They are insulin and glucagon. Insulin reduces blood sugar levels when it rises too high.
On the other hand, glucagon brings blood sugar levels back up when it falls too low.
But insulin is what we are concerned about here. Insulin pushes excess blood sugar into the body’s cells to be used or to be stored.
But when there is insulin resistance, the body’s cells resist the action of insulin. They do not accept sugar. Consequently, the sugar remains in the bloodstream. That leads to high blood sugar levels.
Now, there are different types of diabetes. However, prediabetes leads up to type-II diabetes mellitus. And guess what the problem is in type-II diabetes mellitus?
It is this exact same insulin resistance. So, you can see how prediabetes puts you at risk of diabetes. It is the same causative factor. And this is why you need to take steps to reverse prediabetes.
Prevent prediabetes from growing into diabetes.
Who is at risk of Prediabetes? 10 risk factors for developing prediabetes
There are several risk factors for prediabetes. What are these factors, and who are those at a higher risk of developing prediabetes?
- Being overweight, especially with visceral fat (fat around the abdomen), increases your risk of prediabetes.
- Smokers can store a lot of visceral belly fat and be at risk of prediabetes.
- People who are 45 years or older are at a higher risk and should be screened regularly.
- It can be genetic. So, having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes means you could have it too.
- Being physically inactive, like less than 3 times a week.
- Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or birthing a baby greater than 9 pounds, is a risk factor also.
- Women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) are likely to have prediabetes and even diabetes.
- People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at a risk for insulin resistance.
- A poor diet including red meat, processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, etc.
- High levels of cholesterol in the form of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and low levels of the high-density lipoproteins (HDLs).
Symptoms of Prediabetes
Prediabetes symptoms are usually hidden. That’s why it can be so difficult to detect. Truth be told, most times this borderline diabetes is discovered, it is usually by chance. A person has gone to the doctor for some other reason, and a test just chances to catch the elevated sugar levels or something.
But if you pay attention, you might notice symptoms similar to that of diabetes. Things like:
- Increased Thirst;
- Burning sensation in feet and other parts of the body;
- Feeling of stickiness;
- Frequent urge for urination;
- Turbidity or dark urine;
- Dry skin patches;
- Difficulty in healing of wounds;
- Sugar cravings;
- Blurred vision;
- Darkened patches on the skin (sometimes);
- Difficulty in Breathing;
But then, again, the symptoms of prediabetes are not clear.
The best way to catch it is by conducting tests.
How is Prediabetes Diagnosed?
Detecting prediabetes early with tests will give you a good chance to reverse prediabetes in a short period of time. Knowing the reason of your health symptoms can help you to avoid the complexity of fighting with Diabetes later on.
Thus, being vigilant about your health with prediabetes diagnosis can give you an advantage over those 70 million people that develop and struggle with type-II diabetes mellitus every year.
Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1C) Test
Hemoglobin is the red-colored pigment in your red blood cells. These cells normally function to carry oxygen around the body by holding oxygen molecules on the hemoglobin. Sometimes, sugar gets attached also. The higher your blood sugar, the more sugar you have attached.
Thus, measuring the amount of sugar attached to your hemoglobin can give an idea of blood sugar levels. Red blood cells don’t live beyond four months before they are replaced. Therefore, HbA1C gives an idea of blood sugar levels for the past three months.
Pregnancy or abnormal Hb (hemoglobin) can make this test inaccurate.
See the table below for results can classifications.
Fasting Blood Sugar Test
This measures blood sugar levels after eight hours of fasting. It could also be done after you’ve fasted overnight.
See the table below for results and classifications.
Oral Glucose Tolerance (OGT) Test
This is mostly used on pregnant women. A sample of blood is taken after fasting for eight hours or overnight, then a sugary solution is given to drink. Then blood sugar is measured again after two hours.
See the table below for Prediabetes tests and classifications
|HbA1C||less than 5.7%||5.7 – 6.4%||6.4% or more|
|Fasting Blood Sugar Test||Less than 100mg/dL||100 – 125mg/dL||126mg/dL or more|
|OGT Test||Less than 140mg/dL||140 – 199mg/dL||200mg/dL or more|
Reverse Prediabetes Naturally with Ayurvedic Treatment
Prediabetes & diabetes mellitus as a disease entity have been vividly described in the context of Prameha/Madhumeha in Ayurvedic classics.
The concepts bear a striking resemblance with the latest knowledge on diabetes mellitus as known in conventional medical sciences.
Prameha (prediabetes) is a tridoshic disturbance. It involved the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. This is unsurprising because modern medicine confirms that diabetes affects the whole body.
However, out of the three doshas, the Kapha dosha plays the biggest role in the development of prameha.
Also, all ten Dushyas are implicated in Borderline Diabetes (Prameha). Again, the biggest part is taken by the meda dhatu (fat tissue).
After all, obesity or excess weight is a risk factor for prediabetes. The fact that fat (meda dhatu) is under the Kapha dosha is another noteworthy point.
According to a paper published in Research Gate, Ayurvedic texts also classify prameha based on different factors. These bear a lot of correlation with what is now being confirmed in modern medicine.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Prediabetes | Herbs, Therapies and Natural Remedies
Here are the primary objectives of Ayurvedic treatment for Prediabetes:
- To restore blood sugar balance with Ayurvedic herbs, diet and lifestyle.
- Detoxification of the body. It will help to get rid of the wasteful substances that trigger insulin resistance and prediabetes symptoms
- Pacify and balance the vitiated doshas. This will help to remove the root cause of prediabetes symptoms.
- Promote mental wellness. This helps to reduce stress and improves emotional balance
1. Ayurvedic Herbs for Prediabetes
When you have put these in place, you can still go a little further. Certain herbs are known to counter prediabetes by improving blood sugar levels and decreasing insulin resistance. These will help you along in your journey to naturally lower your blood sugar.
All the herbs and formulations that have been shared in this post are for information purpose only. All of these are potent Ayurvedic medicines that should be taken under the supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic doctor only. Do not indiscriminately use Ayurvedic herbs as it may cause more harm than benefit.
Home Remedies and Ayurvedic Herbs to Reverse Prediabetes
- Fenugreek seeds: Fenugreek seeds contain a rare type of amino acid. This amino acid increases the release of insulin and makes and the uptake of glucose into the cells. Take 2.5 g of fenugreek seeds daily for excellent results.
- Gymnema: Gymnema reduces the amount of sugar that is absorbed in your gut. Thus, if you absorb less sugar from your diet in your gut, you’ll have less sugar in your blood.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is widely approved for prediabetes. It increases insulin level and decreases blood sugar.
- Turmeric and Amla: The combination of these two herbs is very effective in managing blood sugar levels and preventing insulin resistance.
- Bitter melon: Bitter melon is a vegetable with medicinal properties. It is rich in anti-diabetic substances, lowers blood sugar, and can work like insulin.
- Triphala: Triphala is a powerful Ayurvedic Rasayana (Herbal elixir known to promote longevity and rejuvenation). It has powerful antioxidants to rejuvenate, inhibit inflammation, promote healthy build of body cells, and blood purification.
- Gurmar: It blocks sugar cravings and has anti-diabetic properties. Gurmar is an effective herb to stop sugar absorption. It also helps to balance insulin levels/increases insulin sensitivity.
- Giloy: It helps burn off excess glucose and helps to decrease high blood sugar levels. Giloy is an effective herb to increase insulin sensitivity and support the health of pancreas and liver.
2. Ahara: The Best Diet for Prediabetes
Your diet goes a long way to determine your blood sugar levels. In this case, you want to keep blood glucose levels low. Therefore, plan your diet with that in mind.
Best foods and food habits for diabetes
- Include lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fibers in your diet. Eat them fresh. Take beans, peas, and other edible seeds. They can slow down the spike in blood sugar.
- Focus on green leafy vegetables, variety of colors, herbs and spices in your meals.
- Eat healthy meals regularly, and at the right times.
- Eat meals that will pacify the vitiated doshas.
- Favor ghee, nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, buttermilk, avocado, beets, lentils.
- Focus on increasing intake of root vegetables as sweet potato and yams. They are rich in antioxidants and complex carbohydrates that will keep you full for longer.
- Some fishes like cod, shellfish, haddock, trout, tuna, halibut, etc form part of a healthy diet to reverse prediabetes naturally. Other seafood like seashells, crabs, lobster, and shrimp are healthy for a prediabetic also.
- Reduce your consumption of red meat and deep-fried foods.
- Reduce your intake of dairy, except buttermilk or takra.
- Avoid sugar as much as you can. You can go for honey as an alternative sweetener.
Foods to avoid for Prediabetes
- Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index (GI). They flood your bloodstream with lots of sugar in a short time.
- Avoid foods with high starch content. It could be in rice, edible roots, and others.
- Avoid drinks with artificial sweetening and carbonated drinks.
- Fast foods like pizza, sandwiches, burgers, fries, etc, are not your friends at this point. They are high in GI and low in fiber.
- Red meat and meat with thick skin are potentially dangerous for a prediabetic. Avoid them.
- Alcohol? Cross that off your list.
- Be wary of sweets, ice cream, condensed milk, cream, cakes, sweet biscuits, and all such.
- Cut off unhealthy fats from your diet.
3. Ayurvedic Lifestyle Tips to Reverse Prediabetes Naturally
If you eat the right foods but do not make necessary changes to your lifestyle, it wouldn’t be effective enough. A successful fight against prediabetes includes adopting a healthy lifestyle too.
If you can optimize your lifestyle and diet, you will get tremendous results. You can successfully reverse prediabetes naturally before it graduates into diabetes.
Here are a few Ayurvedic lifestyle guidelines to get you started:
- Get active. The recommended exercise rate is 150 minutes a week. Get moving. Participate in more active tasks. Take a walk, jog some distance, take the stairs, etc
- Stay hydrated. Prediabetes causes frequent urination. You need to replenish that water.
- Try to have your dinner no later than 2-3 hours before sleep.
- Shed some weight. A 5-7% weight loss can give you significant results.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol as they disturb all dosha and pile up toxins in the body.
- Don’t eat junk food. Eat healthily and avoid getting hungry so that you can better resist the temptation to eat junk food.
- Keep a regular, again, regular, sleep pattern in the night. Learn here on Ayurvedic guidelines for good sleep.
- Try not to sleep in the day so you don’t break your sleep cycles.
4. Mental Wellness to Reduce Stress Levels
Excess stress can spike off cortisol levels that further disturb the insulin function and blood sugar levels in your body. That’s why it is important that you manage and reduce your stress levels if you want to reverse prediabetes.
Practice regular meditation and breathing exercises that will help you to relax and reduce your stress levels. Here are some other ways that can help you to promote mental wellness:
- Deep breathing exercises and yogic breathing
- Spending time in nature and with your loved ones
- Remove and reduce stress triggers
- Take time off and invest in self care measures
- Deep body massage
5. Yoga Poses to Reverse Prediabetes
Yoga goes much deeper than just the physical movement of the body. Regular practice of suitable yoga asana help to tone the muscles thus increase strength, relax the mind to reduce stress levels and also improve insulin sensitivity.
That’s why yoga is one of the best ways to naturally support your physical and mental health.
Here are some yoga asana that you can practice to find relief from insulin resistance and reverse prediabetes naturally.
- Setu Bandhasana (Bridge)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra)
- Dhanurasana (Bow)
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Half Spinal Twist)
- Natarajasana (Supine Dancing Shiva)
- Chakki Chalanasana (Churning Mill Pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (One Legged Seated Forward Bend)
- Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations)
Act Early to Reverse Prediabetes!
So, if you have been diagnosed with borderline diabetes, it is not a sentence. Know that you can beat it.
With the necessary changes, you can reverse prediabetes naturally. You can get back to a healthy state, and avoid all those complications.
And the key to beat prediabetes is to act early. So, do not delay anymore.
Consult your doctor
I have shared a lot of really helpful tips for you to manage and reverse prediabetes. However, as a note of caution, you should not just go ahead experimenting with your health. Ensure you consult with your doctor or qualified healthcare specialists to guide you.
If you would like to reverse prediabetes or seek Ayurvedic treatment for Diabetes, do contact Medhya Herbals for an online consultation and to chart out your personalised health plan for Diabetes.
Before you Go!
Now we want to hear from you. Have you taken the route of Ayurveda for Diabetes type 2 management? How was your experience? What worked and what didn’t? Do let us know your questions and suggestions in comments. We will get back to you the soonest
Wishing you vibrant health!