Prediabetes and diabetes are growing at an alarming rate in this country. According to the latest data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million American adults have diabetes and another 84 million have prediabetes, a condition that, if left unchecked, can lead to diabetes in five years. What’s even scarier is that the majority of Americans who fall in the prediabetes group, don’t even know it yet!
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is often referred to as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, is caused by the body’s inability to make insulin. It typically appears before the age of 20, although it can occur at any time. Type 1 cannot be prevented since it results from the inability of the pancreas to produce adequate insulin.
Type 2, on the other hand, is a caused by insulin resistance or insulin sensitivity. This happens when insulin receptor sites on the cells’ surfaces won’t open to let in glucose and other nutrients, regardless of how much insulin is knocking at the door.
Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is often only detected because of an elevated fast blood glucose test, generally in the 150 to 300 mg/dL range. In addition to the warning sides for type 1 diabetes listed above, the following symptoms may indicate type 2 diabetes:
- Wounds that are slow to heal or persistent infections,
- Tingling or numbness in feet due to prolonged periods of elevated blood sugar,
- Heart problems
Starting around age 40, years of making poor lifestyle choices can start to catch up with you. Things like an unhealthy diet, extra weight, and lack of exercise suddenly turn into diabetes risk factors and begin to take a toll on your body. You should pay attention to these early warning signs of diabetes and address them right away.
What are the Warning Signs of Prediabetes?
If your doctor gives you a diagnosis of prediabetes, you shouldn’t dismiss it. It is important look at the early warnings signs of diabetes as a wakeup call and incorporate lifestyle changes and targeted nutritional supplements to prevent or treat diabetes.
Prediabetes warnings signs for some people are often non-existent and the disease is often only detected when an oral glucose, fasting blood sugar, or hemoglobin A1C test comes back higher than the normal range, but lower than the range for diabetes.
Having prediabetes doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop type 2. Numerous studies have revealed that people who pay attention to the early warning signs of prediabetes and get on a weight loss regimen that includes healthy diet and regular exercise can actually reverse the risk factors, prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, and get on the path to normal blood sugar levels.
Stave Off Diabetes with Supplements and Lifestyle Changes
If you can focus on just one thing to keep type 2 diabetes at bay, make it weight loss. You don’t have to slim down to your high school weight or fit into your wedding dress to reap the benefits. Losing just 5–7 percent of your current weight, say 10–15 pounds, can make a profound difference.
Although lifestyle changes are critical, I also strongly recommend certain supplements, starting with a daily multivitamin with substantial amounts of magnesium, which has been shown to improve glucose control in prediabetes.
In addition, adding antioxidants to your supplement regiment is a must to protect against oxidative stress caused by elevated blood sugar. And vitamin D is crucial since deficiencies have been linked with increased risk of diabetes.
Finally, berberine is my go-to recommendation for diabetes prevention and treatment. In a 2016 placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with prediabetes were randomly divided into two groups and assigned to take either a nutritional supplement containing chromium, berberine, and cinnamon or a placebo pill for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12 weeks they were retested and the group that had taken the supplement had dramatic improvements in oral disposition index (DIo), which is a marker of the likelihood of developing diabetes over a 10-year period.
If you have reason to believe you might have an issue with your blood sugar, it’s important to go over the list of warning signs of diabetes with your doctor and take steps to get it under control. Fortunately, with some very minor lifestyle adjustments, you can do just that.