Prediabetes is a stage of abnormal blood rise just before diabetes. This condition is serious because many patients won’t know they’re close to slipping into full-blown diabetes until it’s almost too late. In fact, most people with high blood sugar diagnoses only get one after they’ve already developed diabetes. As has been proven over time, diabetes is difficult to reverse, so experts encourage people to treat prediabetes before it develops into high blood sugar.

There’s been a pressing focus on treating prediabetes since 2017, and the emphasis has become more relevant with lots of sensitization for Americans to create insurance for prediabetes. Since the tenth version of the ICD (International Code of Diagnostics) update, there’s even a specific principal diagnosis code for prediabetes. All of this highlight the importance of treating prediabetes before it worsens.

This guide highlights prediabetes, its code and identification with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the importance of the code to patients, providers, and insurers.

What to Expect

  • What Is Prediabetes?
  • The International Code of Diagnostics (ICD) and What It Means for Prediabetes
  • The Specificity of the ICD-10 Code for Prediabetes?
  • 2021 Prediabetes ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code R73.03
  • The History of the CODE R73.03
  • Are There ICD-10 Codes Related to Prediabetes Code?
  • Functions of the ICD-10 Code for Prediabetes in 2022
  • Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs) and Their Role in Prediabetes Management
  • Other Ways of Preventing Diabetes

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a stage where high blood sugar is higher than normal but not so high that it can be diagnosed as diabetes. People with prediabetes are highly likely to be diagnosed with diabetes because the symptoms of the former aren’t so evident that people will be able to tell they need medical help.

Prediabetes has long been considered a part of the medical diagnostic-related group (DRG). For many experts, the condition is quite serious, meaning that patients will need to take it just as seriously as diabetes.

Recently, there have been many campaigns for patients to take routine blood sugar checks to know if they’re in the safe range. This is aimed to encourage healthy living among American adults. Health institutions believe early prediabetes diagnosis will help patients make much better decisions about their life and health.

Apart from the orientation of treating diabetes, the steady growth of prediabetes and the subsequent influx of diabetes has led to the World Health Organization (WHO) codifying prediabetes. Unlike the last nine versions of the WHO ICD classification, the 10th version has given prediabetes its specific code. The code was built to outline the importance of prediabetes awareness and treatment to improve the average American adult’s health.

The WHO classified prediabetes with its unique code so that patients’ providers and insurers can identify certain risk factors for the ailment and treat them with the same severity as other preventable mortality-threatening conditions. Following the classification, it’s become easier for patients to get insurance reimbursement, further diagnosis of prediabetes, and lasting treatment before they develop a worsened diabetes case.

The subsequent sections discuss prediabetes in terms of its relationship with the WHO ICD.

The International Code of Diagnostics (ICD) and What It Means for Prediabetes

The popular ICD is an abbreviation for the International Code of Diagnostics. It’s the World Health Organization’s international medical streamlining system.

The WHO started publishing diagnostic health issues with the ICD tag in 1948. The ICD version is updated over time; it’s currently in its 10th version, and it’s why all diagnostic conditions in recent times are termed ICD-10.

Virtually every country where WHO exists—over 100 countries—uses the ICD-10. As is well known, the United States is one of these countries and even provides funds to the medical organization.

The ICD-10 Is known to have more codes and specificity than the ICD-9 — its preceding version. While the ICD-9 has about 14,000 codes, the ICD-10 has over 70,000 codes (at least four times the former version).

For the ICD-9, prediabetes is classified as 790.29, representing “other abnormal glucose.” This means that prediabetes doesn’t have its specificity in the ICD-9. Rather, it shares the classification with conditions like steroid-induced hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and other 20 conditions and symptoms.

Currently, the ICD-10-M is the classification for mortality statistics. The ICD-10-CM means clinical modification (CM) for the 10th version of the International Code for Diagnostics (ICD).

The ICD-10-CM is typically used for prediabetes and its symptoms, also known as morbidities. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has published the categorization. For prediabetes specifically, the ICD-10-CM 73.03 is the coding specificity for the condition.

The Specificity of the ICD-10 Code for Prediabetes

The ICD-Code 10 generally deals with issues concerning high blood sugar and diabetes.

Below are some of the complications and their respective codes:

  • The prediabetes ICD-10 code is R73.03
  • The “R” in the Code for prediabetes is in line with the WHO Code section XVIII, which states, “Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified”
  • The “73” means “Elevated blood glucose level”
  • The “.03” indicates “Prediabetes”
  • “R70-79” implies “Abnormal findings on examination of blood, without a diagnosis”

2021 Prediabetes ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code R73.03

The R73.03 in the ICD-10-CM code identifies prediabetes issues for reimbursement in 2021 concerning HIPAA-covered transactions. This code, however, isn’t to be used for an established diagnosis. This is because ICD-10-CM guards the code for the purposes already stated.

It can’t be used as a primary diagnosis code when there’s a definite diagnosis. “Latent diabetes” is also an inclusion term for this code as it’s considered prediabetes.

Some important facts about the ICD-10-CM R73.03 code are outlined below:

  • The ICD-10-CM R73.03 2018 edition became effective on the 1st of October, 2017
  • The ICD-10-CM R73.03 is the American coding identification for prediabetes; that of other countries can differ in terms of numbering
  • The ICD-10-CM R73.03 covers latent diabetes conditions as well

As stated in this article, the R73.03 code isn’t the only code for diabetes-related conditions. Other codes come before it and are related to it in the listing, as we’ll see below:

  • The R00-R99: This code highlights the “Symptoms, signs & abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified”
  • The R70-R79: This code indicates “Abnormal findings during blood examination, without any definite diagnosis”
  • The R73: This code simply indicates an “Elevated blood glucose level”
  • The R73.0: This code identifies “Abnormal glucose”

All the above codes are above R73.03 and contribute to its formation. The ICD-10-CM R73.03 falls into the diagnostic-related group (category) (MS-DRG v35.0). Other diagnostic orders in the group include “640: Miscellaneous disorders of nutrition, metabolism, fluids and electrolytes with MCC.”

The History of the CODE R73.03

Claims of reimbursement with a service date on (or after) the 1st of October 2015 were mandated to use the ICD-10-CM codes.

Here’s an outline of how the code meaning has changed over time:

  • 2017 (effective 10/1/2016) : New Code
  • 2018 (effective 10/1/2017): No change
  • Diagnosis Index entries containing back-references to R73.03
  • Borderline diabetes mellitus R73.03
  • Diabetes, diabetes mellitus (sugar) E11.9 latent R73.03
  • Prediabetes, R73.03

Are There ICD-10 Codes Related to Prediabetes Code?

Certain ICD-10 codes are related to the prediabetes code ICD-10-CM R73.03. For a code related to prediabetes, they have to start with R73. This guide considers at least one of these in the codes that come before R73.03; 

The R73, for example, indicates “Elevated blood sugar.” This doesn’t mean prediabetes.

Also, the R73.0, “Abnormal blood sugar,” stands for the consistent rise in body temperature but not prediabetes.

The R73.9 IS one code that’s significantly related to prediabetes. It indicates “Hyperglycemia.”

Some conditions that many people will expect to have related codes with R73.03 but don’t include:

All of these codes are grouped under ICD-10 as they’re considered diagnostic. However, they have different code patterns from prediabetes. Type 2 diabetes specifically is one that’s expected to have a related coding pattern to prediabetes since the latter often preceded the former, but the reverse is the case.

Functions of the ICD-10 Code for Prediabetes in 2022

The role of ICD-10 in prediabetes and other diabetes-related conditions is to create a unified understanding among all relevant stakeholders in the medical field. Classifying prediabetes with its ICD-10-CM R73.03 code allows health providers, insurers, and patients to stay on the same page regarding diagnosis and the relevant treatment and management they need to sort out the problem.

In the United States, any health body or organization that works with a healthy body will be able to understand precisely how the code works and what they can do concerning treatment, especially in the United States, where the code is incredibly relevant for communication.

Once a diagnostic has been classified as ICD-10-CM R73.03, it significantly reduces communication difficulty and payment requirements when an insurance firm is involved in some instances.

The below sections outline how important the code for prediabetes is in the United States for all respective groups of stakeholders:

Patients

The ICD-10-CM R73.03 is made known to patients after a diagnosis, and it’s what they’ll need to point out if they have to show it to a doctor or several doctors that didn’t exactly carry out the diagnosis themselves. Patients will also need the code when relaying their condition to an insurance company.

Providers

Providers use the code to pass information about prediabetes to patients and can use it as justification for more future diagnostic tests to understand its growth, reduction, and possible treatments.

Insurers

Insurers or insurance institutions use the code to implement patients’ financial reimbursements. In fact, one of the major advantages of the code is that it aids reimbursement approval for patients.

Statistical Significance

The ICD-10-CM code is also valuable for statistical purposes. Today, the United States has millions of people with diabetes-related conditions. The only way the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) know these numbers so accurately is via the ICD-10-CM Code.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)—a body of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—uses the ICD-10 data to trace and monitor population health. The institution uses the ICD-10CM R73.03 to know the number of people diagnosed with prediabetes annually. They can practically separate people with prediabetes from those with an abnormal rise in blood sugar or already in the diabetes stage.

The center uses the data revealed to tell if people with prediabetes are growing or if there’s been an impactful reduction following the sensitization and orientation carried out by ADA and other diabetes prevention programs (DPPs) in the country. It’s through the ICD-10-CM that the United States decided to allow reimbursement of DPPs after the steady surge of prediabetes annually for the past few years.

Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs) and Their Role in Prediabetes Management

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is one of the most effective campaigns the United States has come up with for people with prediabetes. DPPs are organized by public institutions like the CDC and a few private institutions.

DPPs are set up to help people with prediabetes reverse their blood sugar so they don’t develop diabetes. Several DPPs have succeeded in putting patients on the right track. Their primary approach is to help patients change their diet and live healthy lives.

More importantly, research has shown that patients admitted into DPPs have achieved higher success controlling and reversing their dangerously high blood sugar than those who attempt to do so themselves.

DPPs are incredibly helpful because patients are usually placed in a community of people with the same prediabetes issues. Together, they’re given personal assistants to help them achieve their goals and report their progress. So far, the result has shown that the campaigns have been incredibly effective.

Here are some of the major DPPs currently available:

CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program (CDC DPP)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been at the forefront of handling prediabetes issues with its diabetes prevention program. The program, like others, is dependent on dieting and exercising.

Patients are taught and guided to get the best management treatment to enable them to reverse their condition and live healthier. Remarkably, the CDC DPP has achieved a lot of success in treating and reversing prediabetes.

YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YMCA DPP)

Although the YMCA isn’t as popular as the CDC, it’s just as effective in helping patients prevent diabetes by nipping prediabetes at the bud. The YMCA has helped men and women with the best management tips and professional health experts to treat their condition and live much healthier.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Diabetes Prevention Program (NIDDK DPP)

The NIDDK is another body committed to helping people with prediabetes treat their condition to live and lead a healthy life. Suffice it to say, the organization has helped people with top relevant treatments to handle their condition and reverse it.

Other Ways of Preventing Diabetes

While DPPs remains one of the most viable options, not every healthy person can afford to get registered. Thankfully, there are other ways that patients can treat and manage the condition.

The good thing is that the management method for prediabetes is similar to that of symptomatic diabetes. Below are some of the ways that people with prediabetes could manage their health:

Diet

DPPs are based on dieting. If people who can’t enlist in the program manager to control how much they eat, they’d have handled up to 50% of their troubles.

Medications aren’t recommended for prediabetes; on the other hand, natural methods like dieting are known to work wonders.

People with prediabetes must avoid foods filled with pure carbs, too much fat, or high sodium. The best foods to eat are those enriched with vitamins and minerals like magnesium and fiber. Several meal choices meet this criterion, and people who eat them can control their blood sugar better.

Exercising

Exercising is just as important as dieting. People with prediabetes can manage their condition better with proper eating and exercise.

Exercising with proper dieting burns off fats and reduces blood sugar drastically. It’s been proven to work many times, and it’s why many health institutions recommend exercising and cardiovascular activities alongside dieting.

Some of the best forms of exercise include running, brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and resistance training. Other more intensive forms include sprinting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is often recommended for people who’re already diagnosed with diabetes or are keen on losing weight. However, prediabetes patients seeking to reduce their blood sugar faster can also opt for this method. The intermittent fasting method is reliable and consistently keeps to it, leading to fast weight reduction and better living.

Intermittent fasting simply means having a restricted time frame for eating. Once a person has an intermittent fast, they’re likely to eat only twice daily.

Some may start to eat for the day by 11 am and eat their last meal by 7 pm. During that time, they may only drink water and very low-carb juice. They may also eat a significantly light lunch.

According to many experts, the best restricted time window is the 16:8 window. This window means patients can only eat twice within 8 hours and not within the remaining 16 hours. People who eat by 11 am will have their last meal at a maximum of 7 pm, giving them enough time to sleep and rest.

Conclusion

Treating prediabetes is the best way to manage diabetes mellitus. Once a person develops prediabetes, they’re at a heightened risk of developing diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to death.

This guide considers prediabetes and the importance that health institutions now accord it such that it has its peculiar classification. As was revealed, the International Code of Diagnostics (ICD) for prediabetes is R73.03. This code is available in the tenth version of the ICD and has found use amongst patients’ health providers and insurers according to their ascribed limits.

The high level of attention towards prediabetes is rooted in how it’s become a serious concern over the years. Patients can now get insured for prediabetes treatment and apply practical management tips to manage the condition.

Dieting is one of the best management tips that people with prediabetes must take seriously. With dieting, people can quickly reverse prediabetes and live healthier lives. One of the best ways they can do so is to adhere to a diabetes-friendly diet through a diabetes management app.

A diabetes management app helps people with diabetes and prediabetes regain blood sugar control. Our Klinio app is one of the trustworthy meal apps that people with prediabetes can trust at any time.

Our app provides prediabetes and diabetes patients with the best food to eat in terms of taste and blood sugar. This virtual caregiver also helps people with these conditions keep a good routine by providing them with a weekly and monthly plan for their meal choice.

Currently, World Diabetes Day, or WDD, is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching over 1 billion people in more than 169 countries worldwide. The campaign raises awareness of issues that are of the utmost importance to people with diabetes and keeps the disease firmly in the public and political spotlight.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease where blood glucose levels are too high. It may occur if your body produces insufficient insulin or ineffective insulin, or when your body can’t produce any insulin at all.

Sadly, diabetes puts people at risk for various other medical issues, such as nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, foot and limb injuries, and vision problems, among others. Understanding diabetes and how to manage it is, therefore, more crucial than ever.

Types of diabetes

Here are the main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that typically arises before adulthood and causes the body’s own insulin-producing cells to be destroyed by the immune system.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that develops when the body cannot use insulin properly to control blood sugar and typically happens in middle age.

Gestational diabetes is a condition that happens during pregnancy where the body improperly uses insulin, similar to type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes, while not technically a type of diabetes, is a serious medical condition where blood sugar levels are elevated but not yet to the point where type 2 diabetes would be diagnosed.

However, the most common type of diabetes is type 2, with up to 95% of cases in the US alone.

Facts and figures

Here are some facts and figures brought by IDF Diabetes Atlas:

  • Diabetes affects 537 million adults (20–79 years old), or 1 in every 10. Sadly, this figure is expected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.
  • Almost 1 in 2 adults (44%) with diabetes are undiagnosed (240 million). The vast majority have type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes affects over 1.2 million children and adolescents aged 0 to 19.
  • Diabetes caused 6.7 million deaths in 2021.
  • High blood glucose (hyperglycemia) affects 1 in every 6 live births (21 million).

History of World Diabetes Day

In response to mounting worries about the disease’s growing threat to public health, the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) created World Diabetes Day in 1991 on November 14th.

Now, WDD, which includes hundreds of campaigns, events, screenings, lectures, meetings, and other activities, demonstrates its effectiveness in spreading the word about diabetes and increasing public awareness of the disease worldwide.

Why November 14th?

World Diabetes Day is commemorated each year on Sir Frederick Banting’s birthday, November 14th, who co-discovered insulin with Charles Best in 1922. Although it was recognized by the government through the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, WDD remained largely unnoticed until 2006, when the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) successfully lobbied for the United Nations to issue a resolution the following year, formally recognizing it for the first time.

The IDF organizes World Diabetes Day and selects a different theme each year.

What’s the 2022 theme?

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021–23 is Access to Diabetes Care.

The growing number of diabetes patients places additional strain on healthcare systems. Healthcare professionals must be able to detect and diagnose diabetes early in order to provide the best possible care, while people living with diabetes require ongoing education to understand their condition and carry out the daily self-care required to stay healthy and avoid complications.

Therefore, the theme of the World Diabetes Day 2021–23 campaign for the second year is “Education to Protect Tomorrow.”

Why Is This Day So Important?

There are 3 reasons why November 14th is so important.

Firstly, it draws attention to the diabetes epidemic. According to the statistics, diabetes diagnoses increased by roughly 380% over a 25-year period (from 1988 to 2013). And these diagnoses are dangerous – the WHO predicts that by 2030, diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death worldwide. This condition requires attention, which is why dedicating an entire day to it is critical.

Secondly, type 2 diabetes can be easily avoided. World Diabetes Day serves as a great reminder to live healthier lives. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with healthy lifestyle choices, such as a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Finally, this day is a great reminder to stay educated about diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, but type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is just as dangerous to one’s health. Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 1.25 million Americans, but the cause of the disease is unknown. However, the health consequences are just as severe as type 2 diabetes. World Diabetes Day serves as a reminder to be aware of diabetes symptoms, get tested, and receive treatment.

How Do We Mark World Diabetes Day?

To participate in and observe World Diabetes Day, many people worldwide wear a blue circle logo symbol dedicated to diabetes awareness. So, on this day, wear a t-shirt, necklace, or bracelet with the logo, or make one yourself to raise awareness of this dangerous disease and its consequences.

Also, to commemorate WDD, many healthcare professionals, businesses, and public figures host a variety of activities to raise awareness. These include a range of activities and events, such as:

  • Meetings and lectures to spread public information
  • Sports events
  • Television and radio programs
  • Brochure and poster campaigns
  • Exhibitions, conferences, and others

Many individuals also work with health officials to host a diabetes fair at their workplace or home to learn more about this disease.

Ultimately, getting tested for diabetes is a great addition to observing World Diabetes Day. Diabetes symptoms include, but are not limited to, excessive urine excretion, thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue. Plus, being overweight or obese increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, World Diabetes Day can be a great reminder to get tested if you have any risk factors or symptoms of diabetes.

Conclusion

537 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, and many of them don’t even know they have it. Keeping this in mind, the IDF and WHO created a day to raise awareness of diabetes and its escalating effects. So, let’s mark this day by learning more about this serious medical condition and spreading the word about it.

A condition known as prediabetes is what’s experienced before the significant illness steps in. Patients can live with this condition for years unknown to them, and sometimes if no changes in lifestyle are made, it morphs into diabetes.

There are lots of ways to know if you have prediabetes. In this regard, it’s vital to take note of specific symptoms and perform regular tests to be in the know about your health condition. Early knowledge about a prediabetes condition can be incredibly helpful in managing the disease and even reversing its effect.

In this guide, you’ll discover those symptoms that indicate a prediabetes condition. You’ll also learn what the risk factors of prediabetes are. Other sections cover how to manage the condition and reverse it.

What to Expect 

  • What Is Prediabetes?
  • What Causes Prediabetes?
  • Common Signs and Symptoms of Prediabetes
  • Prominent Prediabetes Risk Factors
  • Tests to Determine Prediabetes
  • Prediabetes Complications
  • Managing and Reversing Prediabetes

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes occurs when too much sugar exists in your body but not enough to count as type 2 diabetes. Typically, an individual is said to have diabetes when their blood sugar level sits at 200 mg/dL or above. However, if your blood sugar level reads between 141 and 199 mg/dL, you might have prediabetes.

Statistics show that an incredible amount of the US adult population has prediabetes. As of 2019, about 96 million adults aged 18 and above had this condition.

As common as this illness is, many are unaware they’re living with it. According to the CDC, over 80% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Usually, it doesn’t show symptoms until it becomes severe or has developed into type 2 diabetes.

When left untreated, prediabetes can cause significant long-term damage to key organs like the heart or kidneys. It can as well affect blood vessels and other body parts. Because most individuals have no idea they have this condition, they don’t make the essential lifestyle changes that can help them manage it.

However, one can reverse, or better still, manage prediabetes when diagnosed early. Early diagnosis can also help ensure prediabetes doesn’t progress into type 2 diabetes. Hence, the need to watch out for some obvious signs or symptoms that may indicate prediabetes.

What Causes Prediabetes?

The body runs on glucose as its primary source of fuel. It gets this fuel primarily by breaking down carbohydrates. After breaking down carbs into glucose, they’re pumped into the bloodstream, and the excess gets stored. With the help of the hormone “insulin,” secreted by the pancreas, glucose is transported into the cells to provide the needed energy.

However, with a condition like prediabetes, your body doesn’t respond appropriately to insulin, prompting the pancreas to make more of it to meet the body’s demands. With a large amount of insulin left unused, the pancreas tires out and stops producing more. Hence, most glucose remains in the bloodstream, as it’s not used by your body cells.

When this happens, blood sugar rises, translating into a prediabetes condition. Over time, when left untreated, prediabetes can eventually transform into type 2 diabetes. At this stage, it might be too late to reverse the condition.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Prediabetes

Prediabetes can be considered a silent disease that can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular illnesses like heart disease, stroke, etc. This is because it rarely indicates any signs or symptoms in its early stage, making many patients unaware of this condition.

However, depending on the severity of prediabetes, patients tend to show specific symptoms. Although some of these symptoms can also point to other ailments, they’re worth confirming with your doctor. Worthy of mention is that these symptoms are much similar to diabetes symptoms.

Here are some of the early signs that may point to prediabetes:

Increased Hunger

With a condition like prediabetes, your body either lacks insulin or can’t utilize the available one. When your body doesn’t respond to insulin as it should, it leaves a lot of glucose in your bloodstream. This causes your body cells to starve due to limited or no access to the much-needed glucose.

The absence of glucose to fuel your body cells makes them weak. Hence, your brain signals you to eat more so the cells can get the energy they need. This makes your body crave more food, even after eating a large serving. It just feels like you aren’t getting enough.

Excessive hunger is one of the significant symptoms of prediabetes you want to look out for. Although, your body tries to compensate for the lack of energy in the cells by taking in more food. Unfortunately, they also get stuck in the bloodstream, raising the sugar in your system even more.

Overeating can have other dire consequences on your health, such as impaired brain function and increased body fat.

Frequent Urination

Sugar isn’t meant to be in the bloodstream in high amounts for an extended period. Hence, when the body can’t use all the excess glucose, it naturally tries to get rid of it.

Your kidney works to ensure balance in bodily fluid. With a condition like prediabetes, too much sugar exists in the blood that the kidney tries to absorb significantly. To get rid of them, it passes the excess sugar to the bladder, filling it with fluid to eject the sugar. This prompts the body to urinate more often than usual.

The average human urinates an average of 5 times per day. While some people visit the stall less than three times daily, others can go about seven times daily. However, when you start peeing more than seven times a day, it might be an indication of prediabetes.

Frequent urination has a strong correlation with diabetes. The process also takes its toll on the kidney, making the individual more susceptible to chronic kidney disease.

Increased Thirst

To get rid of the excess sugar, the body extracts fluid from the body, which the bladder uses to flush the sugar out of the system. Consequently, as you expel more fluid, your body experiences dehydration. Hence, the body shows signs of dehydration from a lack of fluids. When you seem a lot thirstier than usual, this can be an indication of prediabetes.

People diagnosed with prediabetes tend to experience signs of dehydration needing water to compensate for the one lost via frequent urination. Usually, you might not take note of this symptom until it becomes insatiable. Increased thirst tends to go hand in hand with frequent urination, with the latter preceding the former.

Blurred Vision

Excess blood sugar is generally unsafe and, if left unattended, can cause significant damage to body organs. Your eyes are also at risk if you start experiencing elevated blood sugar levels. Hence, one of the common warning signs of prediabetes is blurred vision.

The blood vessels in the eyes start to swell and rupture due to high blood sugar levels — a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Although it’s more common in people with full-blown diabetes, it can also manifest at the prediabetes stage. Diagnosing retinopathy early in prediabetes is essential to prevent vision damage or even ultimate blindness.

If you notice your vision is getting blurry over time, this might indicate prediabetes. Blurry vision can also indicate other serious eye problems like astigmatism and myopia. However, this is one of the early warning signs of prediabetes you can’t ignore.

Fatigue

People experience fatigue for various reasons, and prediabetes is one of such. Fatigue in people with diabetes can be associated with fluctuation in blood sugar levels, especially when it’s on the rise.

The body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or experiences insulin resistance with prediabetes. This translates to the body not getting the energy it needs from glucose or a minimal amount of the same.

With all the essential glucose the body needs, unable to reach the cells, it becomes weak. The body shows signs of fatigue to indicate this. Fatigue may manifest alongside other symptoms like headache, dizziness, muscle weakness, loss of motivation, etc.

Suffice it to say, with prediabetes, one might still experience fatigue right after eating a proper meal and resting well.

Weight Loss or Gain

As mentioned earlier, one of the symptoms of prediabetes is increased hunger. The natural response of any individual is to eat when hungry. Hence, people with prediabetes will eat more than usual, even if they just had a meal not long ago. When you consume more than you need, your body stores the excess, which in turn causes you to gain weight.

On the other hand, you can also lose significant weight due to prediabetes. The body naturally runs with glucose metabolism. However, when glucose is unavailable, it switches to using fat as fuel in ketosis.

Scientists have tied ketosis to helping with weight loss. Many opt for the ketogenic diet to help them lose some weight. However, your body can naturally enter ketosis if it doesn’t have enough glucose to use as fuel.

Hence, if you notice you have gained or lost a significant amount of weight over a short time, you may have prediabetes.

Prominent Prediabetes Risk Factors

Practicing relatively healthy lifestyle habits can shield you from having diabetes. However, you can still experience prediabetes at specific periods in your life as various risk factors can predispose you to prediabetes.

Here are some of the risk factors closely associated with prediabetes:

Age

Like most chronic illnesses, age is a significant risk factor for prediabetes. As you age, your risk of developing prediabetes increases.

According to the CDC, about one-third of US adults had prediabetes between 2005 and 2020. What’s more, people of older ages are more at risk of developing the illness than younger people.

Research on the prevalence of prediabetes clearly states older age is one of the factors that contribute to developing prediabetes. Aging increases insulin resistance, making older people less able to process glucose effectively. Also, the long-term effect of some habits starts to show as you age, some of which increase the chances of having prediabetes.

Family History

Diabetes is an illness strongly associated with genetics. If your family history shows a particular trend of diabetes, your chance of developing prediabetes is relatively high.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), both types of diabetes have specific links to genetics. However, type 2 diabetes has a more pronounced link to family history.

The German Center for Diabetes Research performed an analysis to check the connection between family history and prediabetes. This study—conducted on a population of 8,106 people without diabetes—concluded that people with a family history of diabetes are at higher risk of developing prediabetes, which is more pronounced in the non-obese.

Diet

Your diet plays a vital role in how healthy you’ll be. In other words, choosing the right food to eat safeguards you from illnesses caused by an unhealthy diet.

The body gets its energy from carbohydrates, making it an essential food class for most people. However, food high in carb content has been linked to an increased risk of prediabetes. Over time, they contribute to spikes in blood sugar levels.

Also, consuming red and processed meat increases the risk of developing prediabetes. Coupled with that, lots of individuals tend to indulge in the habit of drinking sugary beverages. Most of these sugar-sweetened beverages contain a high amount of carbohydrates in the form of sugar, potentially increasing blood sugar levels.

Weight

Being overweight has been linked to various serious health complications, including prediabetes. For one, too much fat in the body affects how insulin works in your system and can eventually result in insulin resistance. Hence, people with higher body weights are more likely to develop diabetes due to excess body fat.

Excess weight also increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes. In this paper on “Weight Management: Obesity to Diabetes,” about two-thirds of the US population was said to be overweight in 2015. It further stresses the importance of weight management in preventing prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes.

Sedentary Lifestyle

According to WHO, a staggering 60–85% of the world’s population leads a sedentary lifestyle. This kind of lifestyle increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, and stroke as well as diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc. Although the more significant percentage of inactive people are adults, statistics show about two-thirds of children also lead sedentary lives.

While a physically active lifestyle can shield you from many illnesses, being inconsistent can potentially increase the risk of certain diseases like prediabetes. Therefore, it’s not enough to take a walk once in a while.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep is essential to any living organism’s life, and not getting enough of it can have dire effects on one’s health. Scientists have explored the relationship between sleep and diabetes and found a significant correlation.

Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of developing prediabetes. A large number of people experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — a condition where the airways are obstructed, leading to disturbance in the sleep cycle.

Scientists have observed a significant relationship between sleep apnea and prediabetes. A paper on OSA and diabetes shows the condition can affect glucose metabolism, leading to insulin resistance. OSA can also contribute to weight gain in some individuals. 

Gestational Diabetes

During pregnancy, the body secretes certain hormones, affecting insulin usage. These hormones temporarily make the body less reactive to insulin, causing blood glucose levels to rise — a condition known as gestational diabetes.

About 10% of pregnancies in the US have a record case of gestational diabetes each year. Moreover, having gestational diabetes at one point increases the risk of developing prediabetes later in life for both the child and the mother.

Additional Notes

Risk factors of diabetes aren’t limited to the ones listed above. Other risk factors associated with this illness include:

  • Ethnicity or race
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol

Note that these risk factors don’t guarantee the development of diabetes down the line. For instance, an individual with a family history of diabetes might not have this illness throughout their life. However, keeping these risk factors in mind will help you take the necessary caution in preventing the development of prediabetes.

Tests to Determine Prediabetes  

The above prediabetes symptoms might present in a way that you can’t directly link them to the illness. However, by noting such symptoms, your doctor can perform some tests to determine if you have prediabetes.

Various tests can point out the presence of prediabetes; some of these are:

  • Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
  • Hemoglobin A1C test

You may need to take these tests more than once to confirm their results. Your doctor might only need to perform one of them to figure out if you have prediabetes or not.

If you notice any prediabetes symptoms, you can inform your healthcare provider to perform any of these tests. Also, if you have a family history of diabetes or your mother had gestational diabetes before birthing you, taking one of these tests is the best way to go.

Prediabetes Complications

When not properly managed, prediabetes can lead to severe complications, some of which can be life-threatening. Not only can prediabetes result in type 2 diabetes without treatment, but it also starts doing damaging work on specific organs, which can result in problems like:

  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Blindness
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage
  • Amputations
  • Fatty liver disease

However, prediabetes is an easily reversible condition unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In the next section, you’ll find ways to manage the effects of prediabetes and possibly reverse the condition.

Managing and Reversing Prediabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong illness with no cure; the only existing treatments are those that help manage the condition. However, the prediabetes stage can be considered a window of opportunity for preventing diabetes from fully developing. Records show people have successfully reversed prediabetes by taking specific life-changing steps.

Below are some things to consider doing in a bid to reverse prediabetes:

Eat Healthily

A healthy meal can’t be overemphasized for almost anyone. However, life happens, and most people tend to dabble in unhealthy eating habits that significantly affect their health in the long term.

To reverse the effect of prediabetes, consider opting for a cleaner diet containing less processed and sugar-filled foods. Avoid consuming large quantities of carbohydrates, especially if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Reduce or eliminate foods containing added sugar as these can increase blood sugar levels, and take less red meat.

Health professionals recommend a less fat-filled diet, except if you opt for diet options like the ketogenic diet, which contains more healthy fat. Consider a plant-based diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. Foods like fish and lean meats are also healthier alternatives to red meat.

Exercise Regularly 

Getting enough physical exercise helps you maintain a healthier weight and aids your mental health. It helps lower blood sugar by making your cells more responsive to insulin. Although exercise is an excellent tool for battling prediabetes, ensure you don’t overdo it.

If you have just kickstarted your exercise journey, take on a more straightforward exercise routine and build up from there. You can begin by exercising about 15 minutes daily and gradually increase this time as you get accustomed to these routines. You want to aim for about 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

Quit Smoking

Smoking triggers loads of health issues, including diabetes. It causes insulin resistance which can eventually lead to prediabetes.

Consider replacing cigarette sticks with nicotine patches or gum. You can also check out programs that aid in quitting smoking.

Eliminate Stress 

Stress is one of the leading contributors to health complications. When stressed, your body releases certain hormones that aid insulin resistance and spike blood sugar levels.

Taking adequate rest is essential in reversing prediabetes. Avoid emotional stress as well by doing recreative extracurricular activities.

Visit relaxation spots to distress and unwind from that long busy day. Taking occasional vacations is another excellent way to help your body recuperate from accumulated stress.

Sleep Well

Doctors advise having at least 8 hours of sleep daily. Unfortunately, the reality is that most people barely follow these recommendations.

Sleep deprivation increases your risk of developing prediabetes and further heightens its effect if you’re already diagnosed with this condition. On the flip side, getting adequate sleep will significantly help reverse the effects of prediabetes.

Sleep apnea is a condition that contributes to the development of prediabetes by causing insulin resistance. Treating this condition will help improve the quality of sleep.

Conclusion

Although prediabetes presents an acceptable window of opportunity to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, its presence can also go unnoticed. Hence, you must watch out for peculiar symptoms that might indicate prediabetes.

Some of the warning signs of this condition can be similar to that of other illnesses. A good approach to deciphering them is to ask your healthcare provider to carry out an oral glucose tolerance test (OGGT), a fasting plasma glucose test, or a hemoglobin A1C test to confirm if you have prediabetes or not.

Making the appropriate lifestyle changes, like eating healthy and getting the right amount of exercise, can prevent your prediabetes condition from morphing into diabetes. Our diabetes management application, Klinio, can help you with these critical tasks.

Our app offers an up-to-date food catalog specially reviewed by health professionals and deemed appropriate for managing diabetes. You also get access to the various exercise regimes well suited for reversing the effects of prediabetes.

But if you have diabetes, getting insufficient sleep has a negative impact on all aspects of your life, including how much and what you eat, how you choose to eat, how you react to insulin, and how you feel mentally.

According to clinical studies, as many as 48% of individuals with type 2 diabetes also have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Even more startling is that researchers believe that 86% of obese type 2 diabetes patients suffer from sleep apnea.

So, let’s unwrap this relationship between diabetes and sleep apnea and how it can impact diabetes management.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops and starts while you sleep. The most prevalent type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea leaves the body deprived of oxygen which, in turn, disrupts heart function, blood pressure, and metabolism. These effects can be severe and make it crucial for people with diabetes to understand and treat sleep apnea when it occurs.

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder, not a sleep disorder, that can be brought on by bad sleep habits or various physical or mental conditions.

What are other signs of sleep apnea, you might ask? Here are some of the main signs of sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gaps in breathing
  • Choking or gasping for air
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Waking up a lot

The lack of oxygen caused by sleep apnea interferes with the heart’s normal rhythm, blood pressure, and metabolism. Due to the potential severity of these effects, it is critical for people, especially those with diabetes, to comprehend and effectively manage sleep apnea when it manifests.

For now, let’s look at diabetes and its prevalence worldwide.

Diabetes Mellitus Prevalence

Diabetes is a long-term chronic illness that affects how your body converts food into energy.

Most of the food you consume is converted into sugar (glucose), which is then released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas releases insulin when your blood sugar levels rise. Blood sugar is allowed into your body’s cells by insulin so that it can be used as energy.

Diabetes is a disease that affects 537 million people worldwide, or 1 in every 10 people, according to 2021 data. But the total number of people with diabetes is expected to rise dramatically, reaching 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.

Christine Zalnieraite, Head of Nutrition at Klinio, once said that “more than 95% of people with diabetes worldwide have type 2 diabetes. Due to unhealthy lifestyle choices and, often, a lack of knowledge, people increasingly get diagnosed with this condition, leading to the rise of cases at an alarming rate.”

The Most Common Form of Sleep Apnea

There are several types of sleep apnea, such as central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea syndrome, but the most common one is obstructive sleep apnea. This type of severe sleep apnea happens when the muscles in your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate, the triangular piece of tissue that hangs from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, the throat side walls, and the tongue.

When you relax your muscles, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe. Here, you aren’t getting enough oxygen in your blood because you aren’t getting enough air. Your brain detects your inability to breathe and briefly wakes you up so you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you will forget about it.

You may sneeze, choke, or gasp. This pattern can repeat itself 5–30 times or more per hour, all night, impairing your ability to achieve deep and restful sleep.

What’s the Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is frequently associated with obesity, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease, but new research has identified another condition that is also linked: sleep apnea.

You might ask whether sleep apnea causes diabetes. Well, we can tell you that it doesn’t directly cause it. However, many people with diabetes also suffer from sleep apnea and vice versa. This is due to the fact that the risk factors for sleep apnea are the same for diabetes, though you can develop one or both conditions even if you don’t have any risk factors. So, although sleep apnea is not a cause of diabetes, it can have an impact on an existing diabetes diagnosis.

Does Sleep Apnea Cause Blood Sugar Fluctuations?

The main way that sleep apnea affects diabetes is through an increase in blood carbon dioxide levels caused by periods of not breathing while sleeping. Increased blood CO2 levels aggravate insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that transports glucose from the blood into your cells and is used as energy. Insulin resistance complicates this process, resulting in higher blood sugar levels.

This is especially problematic for people with diabetes attempting to control already elevated blood glucose levels. Aside from its effect on glucose levels, sleep apnea and other sleep disruptions can have a negative impact on the progression of diabetes and the development of complications. The oxygen deprivation associated with poor-quality sleep raises blood pressure and worsens heart function. So, controlling your diabetes while suffering from sleep apnea can be a bit complicated.

Prevention and Treatment: How to Manage Sleep Apnea With Diabetes?

Most doctors and medical professionals agree that taking steps toward prevention whenever possible is preferable to treating a condition after it has developed. The same is true for treating sleep apnea, though not all cases can be avoided. However, the best way to prevent sleep apnea is by making some lifestyle changes, such as reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, starting a healthy and balanced diet with regular exercising, avoiding sleep medications that relax the muscles in your throat, and finally, sleeping on the side rather than on your back.

When managing sleep apnea and diabetes, typical diabetes management practices, such as blood glucose control, a diabetes-friendly diet, regular exercising, and taking prescribed medications, are great starting points to begin sleep apnea treatment. However, there are a couple more ways to treat it.

Firstly, begin addressing any allergy issues you might have that can interfere with your breathing. Your doctor might recommend you take some sort of medication to keep the sinuses open and clear.

Secondly, weight loss can greatly benefit treating sleep apnea, especially the most common one – obstructive sleep apnea. Here, weight loss relieves pressure on the chest cavity and reduces the likelihood of fat accumulating in the airway passage. Therefore, addressing weight issues can decrease the likelihood of disordered breathing.

Another method of treating sleep apnea is the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which can be prescribed to sleep apnea patients. While sleeping, the individual wears a mask. A hose and a device that delivers pressurized air are attached to the mask. The pressurized air keeps the airway open, preventing sleep-disordered breathing disruptions.

The final potential treatment method is surgery, which involves removing or shrinking tissue from the back of the mouth or the top of the neck. Removing this soft tissue makes the airway less likely to become obstructed while sleeping.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, the consequences of sleep apnea go far beyond feeling tired in the morning. Sleep apnea can affect your glucose levels at all times, change how your body responds to insulin, and contribute to diabetes complications later in life. Therefore, finding the best treatment and prevention methods is crucial to minimizing sleep apnea symptoms.

Suppose you struggle to manage your diabetes and sleep apnea at the same time. In that case, our diabetes management program, Klinio, is one of your best bets for effectively managing diabetes and sleep, followed by a personalized diabetes-friendly diet, custom workouts, and health-tracking features.

Diabetes management and treatment require patients to no longer do certain things—or at least as much as they used to—that they formerly did. To control blood sugar spikes, patients are mandated to control their diet, exercise more regularly, stop unhealthy lifestyle habits which they’re used to, take medications, and regularly book appointments with a specialist in severe cases. All of these requirements usually leave patients worried and stranded such that they find them difficult to implement.

Due to the strain diabetes management imparts on patients, specialists have considered it more expedient if patients start to control their blood sugar levels from the stage of prediabetes. Prediabetes, as the name implies, is that stage just before diabetes. The good part is that the treatment used for controlling prediabetes is also used for managing diabetes.

However, the strictness of the latter isn’t required for the former. This guide considers what prediabetes is all about. People with high blood sugar will know what prediabetes is, its blood sugar range, how to reverse it, and different effective steps for full and proper treatment.

What To Expect

  • An Overview of What Prediabetes Entails
  • The Risk Factor of Prediabetes
  • The Complications of Prediabetes
  • How to Reverse Prediabetes
  • When to Meet a Doctor
  • Medication for Prediabetes
  • How Health Apps Help Against Prediabetes
  • The Role of Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs)

An Overview of What Prediabetes Entails

Prediabetes is the stage just before patients develop diabetes; most people experience prediabetes before developing diabetes. The two have a common characteristic of high blood sugar levels. However, the difference is that the blood sugar level of prediabetes is significantly lower than what would be considered diabetes.

People with prediabetes will eventually develop diabetes if deliberate management methods aren’t implemented. On the bright side, there’s a high success rate of patients successfully reversing prediabetes and preventing diabetes.

However, patients will mostly need a prediabetes diagnosis. Without a diagnosis, many patients will develop diabetes. Since diabetes worsens insulin resistance and leads to severe complications like stroke and heart and kidney disease, it becomes more incumbent to treat prediabetes.

The next sections will highlight more about prediabetes and all patients need to know about managing and reversing their condition.

The Risk Factor of Prediabetes

Certain conditions and factors project your chances of developing prediabetes to astronomical heights, as we’ll observe below:

Waist Size

While a large waist size can be seen as a result of excess fat, it can also indicate insulin resistance — a marker of prediabetes. The risk factor of insulin resistance can go up for men and women with waist sizes of over 40 and 35 inches for men and women, respectively.

Overweight

Obesity is a common risk factor for prediabetes; the more your tissues become fatty, the more prone you become to insulin resistance. Too much fat in tissue can lead to health complications like atherosclerosis. This can further lead to dangerous complications leading to the individual’s death.

Diet

People who consume foods high in carbs are subject to a great risk of prediabetes. Avoiding foods like processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages is an excellent approach to averting prediabetes. You can consult with your qualified dietician to help you with a guide on the appropriate meal and drink to take.

Inactivity

If you’re less active, you’re more prone to the risk of prediabetes. While physical activities help provide energy and improve an individual’s health, they also sensitize the body cells to insulin. This further helps to curb unusual spikes in blood sugar levels. Hence, it’s encouraged to be involved in exercises for an average of 15–30 minutes daily.

Sleep Apnea

People that have obstructive respiration during sleep experience a great risk of prediabetes. This is a result of the relaxation of the muscles of the throat, common among persons that are overweight and obese. For one, people with sleep apnea have an increased risk of insulin resistance. In this light, it’s advised to see a doctor once you notice difficulty breathing during sleep.

The Complications of Prediabetes

Prediabetes may worsen and present alongside certain deadly conditions if not managed properly. Let’s have a look at the common ones.

Coronary Artery Diseases

Coronary heart diseases have to do with diseases that affect the heart; these ailments put you at risk of a heart attack, underscoring the need to treat prediabetes as a matter of urgency. This is a major complication as coronary vessels are those involved in the blood supply to and around the heart. This condition is triggered by deposits of fatty substances in the large blood vessels of the heart.

Stroke

This is another dreadful health complication of prediabetes. It’s a brain disorder that results from a lack of or inadequate blood supply to the brain.

Peripheral Artery Disease

This is caused by a diminished blood flow to peripheral parts of the body, like the legs. The vessels of blood supply are mostly affected. This can result in deep pain in the muscles of the legs, and the calves called claudication.

Just like coronary artery diseases, this is also caused by fat deposition in blood vessels of the peripheral body parts.

Retinopathy

The complications of prediabetes are so extensive that they also affect the eyes. Retinopathy is a disease of the eye that can lead to blindness. When prediabetes is left untreated, the patient is in danger of losing their vision.

Neuropathy

This is a major complication that affects the entire human body. The nerves—in charge of transmitting signals all over the body—become affected when prediabetes isn’t treated as and when due. This complication affects the transmission of signals to various body parts, and in severe cases, it could lead to amputation in some people.

How to Reverse Prediabetes

With prediabetes’ risk factors and complications, it’s crucial to know how to treat the condition successfully. This section considers all that patients need to know about reversing prediabetes.

Eat a Clean Diet

Eating a clean diet doesn’t necessarily imply one has been ingesting some kind of unclean food. This means one should eat a diet that can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

One common cause of prediabetes is a diet rich in processed foods. These diets are termed unhealthy because they comprise contents that can cause health issues. Namely, they contain fats, calories, and sugar that have no significant nutritional value to consumers’ health.

To reverse prediabetes, you need to reduce your ingestion of such foods. It’s also essential to mention that red meat is another food that can increase your risk of prediabetes. Hence it’s advised to reduce its intake.

Instead, you can take foods with low carbs like vegetables, whole grain, lean meat, avocado, fish, etc.

Lose Excess Weight

Aside from the fact that many people get involved regularly to keep fit, one advantage of excess weight loss is that it helps burn excess fat. And this can be of positive relevance to your health. Shedding off 7–10% of your body fat can help stabilize your blood sugar level, helping to prevent prediabetes.

Managing your weight is vital for the normal functioning of the body parts. The problem of insulin resistance increases when you have a large waist size. Again, this figure sits at over 35 and 40 inches for women and men, respectively.

This might not seem easy for heavy consumers, but you could take meals in small portions of about 5 rounds in a day rather than consuming three large portions of food.

Exercise Consistently

It’d be surprising to many how a lack of exercise could be a possible risk factor for prediabetes. While regular exercise is a struggle for many, a lack of continual physical activities can cause prediabetes.

As some may think, exercise isn’t only good for providing energy and improving mental health; it also boosts insulin sensitivity, thus helping to normalize sugar levels. This allows the cell to use insulin and function effectively.

Due to their schedule, exercise can be difficult for many, but you can help yourself by getting involved in physical activities for 15–30 minutes daily. You can start with this before going for workouts.

Stop Smoking Habits

Another factor that can contribute to prediabetes is smoking. Many people don’t know the danger associated with bad habits like smoking.

Aside from prediabetes, generally, smoking should be discouraged as it causes loads of health impairment. For one, it increases the risk of lung cancer and other heart diseases. More importantly, smoking contributes to insulin resistance, prediabetes, and even type 2 diabetes.

We all know quitting habits like smoking can be challenging. But you can help yourself by taking over-the-counter (OTC) products like nicotine gum instead. This can help to quit smoking and improve your health generally.

You can also consult with your physician to place you on medication that can help to reduce cravings for nicotine.

Deal With Sleep Apnea

Apnea simply means difficulty in breathing or cessation of respiration. This is a serious health issue as sleep apnea has been linked to insulin resistance.

As defined above, sleep apnea causes frequent cessation of breathing throughout the night. This is due to the relaxation of the muscles of the throat. Signs of this health issue include gasping for air during sleep, daytime sleepiness, choking during sleep, and loud snoring.

Sleep apnea poses many risks like prediabetes. Thankfully, treatment options for sleep apnea abound, including using oral appliances to contract the throat muscles when sleeping. Another treatment option is using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine; this helps to keep the air passage of the throat open for easy airflow.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water offers numerous positive contributions to human health, including its excellence in reversing prediabetes. It can also help to prevent issues of type 2 diabetes.

Water is something that can hardly be abused when it comes to health. It helps to control and regulate the body entirely. It also helps to control blood sugar levels.

Aside from the fact that water helps to reduce sugar levels, it’s also an ideal substitute for beverages like sodas and fruit juices. Beverages aren’t healthy food choices as they can contribute to the cause of prediabetes.

Consult With A Registered Dietician

Since eating the right food that can help you manage health issues like prediabetes can be quite tricky, it’d be better to meet a dietician nutritionist. This is important as they’re best qualified to provide dietary suggestions to help you manage your blood sugar level. Even if your doctor gives dietary suggestions, meeting and working with a registered dietician is still preferred.

A registered dietician will help you with profound guidance on the right diet to take and the ones you should avoid to help reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes. Notably, they can help provide a good meal plan to help you maintain a normal blood sugar level.

Eat Fewer Carbs

Regarding ways to help you prevent prediabetes, consuming fewer carbs is at the top of the list. Choosing your carbohydrate meals carefully is important even if you’re committed to healthy nutrition. It’s recommended to consume foods with unprocessed carbs like beans, whole grains, and vegetables.

Foods like the aforementioned are rich in fiber. They take time to break, keeping one full for a long time. This means they get absorbed by the body slowly, abating an unusual increase in blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, foods like candy, yogurts, juices, and certain fruits can cause an unusual spike in sugar levels. This can be detrimental to health as it’s a risk factor for insulin resistance and prediabetes.

When to Meet a Doctor

While you can employ natural methods to treat and reverse prediabetes, knowing when to meet a doctor is equally important.

Meeting a doctor becomes necessary if you’re showing any signs of prediabetes. It becomes even more necessary to meet a doctor for diagnosis if you present any of the risk factors of prediabetes alongside. Since risk factors and symptoms go hand in hand, having both phenomena indicates that you may have diabetes.

The right specialist to consult is an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is a diabetes specialist doctor that treats everything diabetes. While general practitioners have a foundational understanding of diabetes and prediabetes, an endocrinologist will be of greater help.

Generally, the specialist will perform a blood sugar check and determine what type of management tips you need. In most cases, the natural reversal method will work. However, in rare cases, doctors will suggest other more advanced methods, which the next sections consider.

Medication for Prediabetes

Insulin therapy is a treatment usually recommended for diabetes in its latter stages. However, there are several cases where treatment based on the hormone insulin may be necessary following a successful prediabetes blood sugar test. When patients have high blood sugar and too much fat in their bodies that they need to lose weight, specialists may find it necessary for an occasional dose of basal insulin.

Basal insulin is background insulin that serves for long hours to several days. Apart from insulin therapy, your specialist may also suggest surgery. However, these two options are simply for special cases; other options outlined in the next section often suffice regarding prediabetes reversal.

How Health Apps Help Against PreDiabetes

Since prediabetes is a precursor to the more complicated diabetes, it’s only necessary to adopt measures that don’t lead to high blood sugar levels. While this guide has outlined several ways one can achieve such, this section highlights the role of apps in achieving healthy blood sugar control to eliminate the complications it can cause.

There are different types of healthy apps — those designed for a diet to encourage healthy eating and those that encourage people to exercise by counting steps. Also, some others encourage great tips that prevent high blood pressure.

Most regularly updated health apps require patients to subscribe often to access their services. This subscription is often monthly. However, some offer users the choice of making advance payments, quarterly and annually.

Here, we consider the different categories of health apps and how they aid better blood sugar control and prediabetes recovery.

Diet Apps

Diet apps are designed to provide prediabetes and diabetes patients with updated information on the best meal choices. Diet or food apps are usually present as applications. However, these applications are designed by experts in the study of diabetes, including doctors, health practitioners, dietitians, and endocrinologists.

The app’s purpose is to serve as a food administrator that provides patients with the right food to eat. The aim is to ensure that people with prediabetes don’t rely on many sugar-filled carbs and eat only healthy fats to reduce high blood pressure.

Diabetes meal apps are among the most trusted food resources patients can use without much help from a specialist. Most of these apps are updated regularly, so additional meals designed to reduce blood sugar are added frequently to increase patient options and modify their choices.

Apart from the regular update, diabetes meal apps offer users a reliable routine that patients can trust. These special apps allow users to set their daily, weekly, and monthly diet routines to help them stay healthy and reduce their dependence on snacks and high blood sugar foods.

Many specialists recommend that patients use diet apps to control their blood sugar because of the success many people have achieved using them.

Exercise Apps

Exercise apps are another trustworthy category of self-help apps that patients can trust. Different types of exercise self-help apps are available to patients, which they can access from different expert providers. Exercise apps offer patients the option of performing moderate to intense exercises.

Most people with prediabetes or on the border of developing diabetes usually struggle with exercising. While a tight schedule is chief among the reasons behind this, the major obstacle is the psychological aspect that makes them feel cardiovascular activity and resistance training are too tasking. Exercise apps help eliminate that barrier through their different work rate available to patients.

Patients can use moderate exercise apps to gradually and regularly warm their bodies up to training. This regime usually includes fast walks, small, simple jogs and step counting. More intense options are usually available in these apps and are to be used by patients who have passed the moderate exercise stage. These exercises include advanced resistance training, running, and even sprinting.

Exercise apps are crucial, especially when the patients in question struggle with insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels. However, it’s important that patients also take dieting seriously.

Without appropriate dieting, it’ll be difficult for them to achieve much blood sugar control irrespective of their exercise effort. As such, they must consider diabetes-friendly apps a requirement to achieve an overall effective result.

Support Group Apps

Support group apps are health social apps for people with diabetes that allow them to commit to a community of people with the same condition. Support group apps have proven incredibly effective as they’ve helped patients with prediabetes handle the depression that comes with high blood sugar. Generally, since reversing prediabetes requires patients to do things they’re not exactly used to, they may battle certain psychological stress.

Many people who experience this psychological stress don’t know how to handle the changes with their meals, constant exercising, and appointments with medical experts. Studies show that people caught up in this web may become distressed and depressed, increasing their chances of slipping into diabetes.

With support groups, patients will connect to people in similar spaces and find companionship in their recovery journey. Support groups and social apps have helped people with prediabetes recover quickly and live more healthily. The good thing is that users are likely to find better tips to aid their recovery based on the experience of others who’ve successfully recovered or gone past the stage they’re currently dealing with.

There are different types of social and community diabetes groups; the apps patients go for will determine which community they’re matched with.

Additional Notes

It’s important to note that there are hundreds of apps available online. However, some stand out following studies by experts. Patients should only go for these apps for the best results instead of picking anyone they find on the net.

Also, while patients may want to opt for an app that offers the jack-of-all-trade services, it’s advised to lean towards those with more specific services. The latter are more likely to offer deep services that aid the recovery from diabetes as opposed to those that only offer superficial services to users.

The Role of Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs)

Diabetes prevention programs (DPPs)  are one of the most objective and effective ways to reverse prediabetes quickly and healthily. From the term, diabetes prevention program, it’s apparent that this option helps patients successfully reduce their high blood sugar levels before reaching the stage of diabetes.

DPPs are organized institutionalized campaigns sponsored mostly by public health institutions to help patients achieve their goal of reversing prediabetes. There are also private institutions involved in this program. However, most of them work hand in hand with public institutions.

These programs admit patients with high blood sugar risk and subject them to a mix of in-office and at-home treatments to help them successfully lower blood sugar levels and reverse prediabetes.

These programs aren’t only designed for prediabetes and great for helping patients handle diabetes and start their recovery journey. The good thing about these programs is that they don’t expose patients to only common practices that offer standard treatments. Rather, they employ other safe new methods to see how they enhance the process of boosting insulin sensitivity and achieving normal blood sugar levels.

The programs also focus on tackling the risk factors that cause prediabetes, like excess weight, high alcohol consumption, and inactiveness. Patients have generally enjoyed a high success rate in their goal to lower blood sugar levels and live healthily with a diabetes prevention program.

Some of the best diabetes prevention programs patients can join include:

  • CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program: This program is designed for patients by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is among the most popular options.
  • YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program: The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is among the most health-inclined Christian associations. The group provides patients with a diabetes prevention program to gain better health and live a life free from diabetes.
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Diabetes Prevention Program (NIDDK DPP): This public health institution empowers patients with a robust diabetes prevention campaign.

The three institutions above aren’t the only option available to patients; several private institutions are still available. However, almost all of them feature the same prevention campaigns.

While some modifications and unique practices may exist, the underlying features remain the same. The major approaches boil down to dieting and exercising. Every other application, like medications, only complements these two main features.

Patients can join diabetes prevention programs without much requirement. It’s generally voluntary, and patients don’t necessarily need to spend much. The only main requirement needed to join one is consistently high blood sugar that borders prediabetes and diabetes.

Conclusion

Reversing prediabetes is generally not as difficult as treating diabetes. However, people with prediabetes usually slip into diabetes and may even battle the complications that the latter cause.

Due to the difficulty of managing diabetes, specialists recommend that patients treat prediabetes early on so that they never get to the stage of diabetes. This guide has considered the different ways patients can reverse diabetes, spanning both natural and medical methods.

However, a healthy diet stands out among the different methods highlighted in this piece. Prediabetes patients can generally reverse their condition with the single trick of dieting; all other methods usually complement this effort. For one, eating healthy leaves the body with significantly little carbohydrates and unhealthy fat that contribute to and worsen insulin resistance.

Diet apps are one of the major resources patients can use to reverse their condition. This article comprehensively and explicitly highlighted how patients could enjoy the benefits of using expert-vetted diet apps like our Klinio app.

Klinio offers patients every help they need to start eating healthy and continue eating healthily even after successfully reversing prediabetes. Our app is updated regularly to offer patients the tastiest meals they can get without worsening their blood sugar. Patients can also build a routine of the meals they eat, set weekly or daily meal plans, and even build a yearly meal plan without much requirement.

However, carb-rich diets aren’t the only cause of rising blood sugar levels. Other factors contribute to spikes in blood glucose; a major one flagged by professionals is drug intake.

You might wonder how this is so. Aren’t drugs meant to contribute to healthier living and help manage a particular condition? While this is true, they sometimes contribute to increased blood sugar levels in many ways.

In this piece, you’ll discover the key drugs that can raise blood sugar, how to measure blood sugar levels, how to manage high blood sugar, and more.

What to Expect

  • What Do Blood Glucose Levels Mean?
  • What Is Drug-Induced Diabetes?
  • Drugs That Contribute to a Blood Sugar Spike
  • Signs You Have High Blood Sugar 
  • Testing Blood Sugar Levels at Home
  • How to Manage Blood Sugar Level
  • Emergency Care For Hyperglycemia 

What Do Blood Glucose Levels Mean?

blood glucose levels

Diabetes is a health condition closely tied to blood sugar levels. Naturally, the body uses glucose as fuel, mainly from carbohydrates-rich foods. In addition, the body burns glucose to supply the organs with energy, and the hormone insulin aids this process by transporting glucose into the blood. Excess glucose from this process is usually stored in the liver and muscles for future use.

However, sugar accumulates in the blood when the body can’t produce or use insulin properly. This leads to a condition known as hyperglycemia, which is when there’s too much sugar in the blood.

The body’s inability to process sugar at this point exposes it to many risks and complications. For example, you likely have high blood sugar if you experience excessive thirst or hunger, vomiting, and vision problems.

When not properly managed, hyperglycemia ultimately leads to diabetes. People predisposed to diabetes are at greater risk of developing the illness if they don’t maintain an average blood glucose level. Several tests help determine if a person has diabetes or not; a prominent one is the blood glucose test.

According to the CDC, a fasting blood sugar test that reads a blood sugar level of 100 mg/dL is normal; one that reads between 100 to 125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, and that which is greater than 125 mg/dL indicates diabetes.

Many diabetes treatments aim to reduce blood sugar and help the body better utilize insulin. Hence, watching out for a diet that can lead to blood sugar spikes and eliminating certain unhealthy habits is crucial. However, apart from what you eat, other factors contribute to high blood sugar. Some medications have also been observed to affect blood sugar levels, as we’ll see soon.

What Is Drug-Induced Diabetes?

drug induced diabetes

Diabetes can occur based on genetic conditions, usually aided by external factors like environment or eating habits. However, diabetes can also result from other factors that many don’t consider. One of these is drugs.

Drugs help in fighting illness and restoring the body’s health to normal. However, some drugs have been observed to influence the development of diabetes in some patients. Drug-induced diabetes is not uncommon and can arise when using certain medications.

Fortunately, drug-induced diabetes is often reversible, especially when caught early and the medication discontinued. However, it can become permanent in some patients.

While you can afford to stop certain medications, some other medicines are just too essential to discontinue. Hence, it’s important to know which drugs can contribute to the development of diabetes and how to manage them properly.

Usually, these drugs affect blood glucose levels negatively, often leading to spikes in blood sugar. In some cases, these drugs influence how the body reacts to insulin and sometimes result in insulin resistance. These include diabetes, over-the-counter prescription, blood pressure, mental health, and other medications.

While you can’t avoid using some medicines, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you better manage blood glucose levels.

Drugs That Contribute to a Blood Sugar Spike

Blood Sugar Spike

Knowing the drugs that can potentially raise blood glucose levels can be tricky. They can even be drugs prescribed to you by your doctor. However, below are some drugs that can increase blood sugar levels.

(N.B: Some of these drugs can also cause low blood sugar).

Steroids

Steroids effectively treat conditions like arthritis, asthma, inflammations, allergies, and more. It also helps deal with autoimmune disorders and suppresses the immune system to prevent tissue damage during organ transplants. However, some steroids like prednisone significantly affect blood sugar and can eventually lead to diabetes.

Typically, steroids can make the liver less responsive to insulin after usage. The liver is the storehouse for glucose the body uses when it runs low. As your body needs glucose, the liver releases a certain amount to serve this need.

If, however, there’s enough blood glucose present, the pancreas secretes insulin to control the body’s sugar level by triggering the liver to stop glucose release. When insulin is unable to perform this function, it leads to a blood sugar spike, which can potentially be dangerous.

Diabetes is often a result of the body’s inability to make use of or produce insulin, often resulting in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A prolonged inability for the body to properly use insulin in people that use steroids leads to insulin resistance. This is when the body stops responding to insulin even when injected into the system. At this point, a condition known as steroid-induced diabetes is said to manifest.

Steroid-induced diabetes is observed to behave a lot like type 2 diabetes, and if not properly managed, it can eventually lead to it. However, while type 1 and type 2 diabetes are lifelong ailments, steroid-induced diabetes will resolve following the completion or cessation of steroid treatment.

Taking steroids for a more extended period (3 months or more) increases one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This risk is even higher in people predisposed to this condition or diagnosed with prediabetes. In addition, other side effects like muscle weakness, hypertension, mood swings, etc., come with its use.

Common steroids to watch out for are hydrocortisone and prednisone. Luckily, steroid skin creams (for rashes) and inhalers (for asthma) don’t pose a significant risk.

Antipsychotics

Over 900 million people worldwide currently experience mental illness. To put things into perspective, that is 1 in 8 people.

Meaning quite a lot of people have to deal with a mental disorder episode during their lives. In the US, 3% of the population experience at least one psychotic episode each year, most of which occur during early adulthood. While most psychosis cases arise due to this disorder, many can also be linked to sleep deprivation, substance use, stress, etc.

Many people with this illness receive antipsychotic treatment to help them manage their condition. However, studies have shown that these medications do have a significant impact on blood sugar.

Antipsychotics came into play about 72 years ago and have since proven effective in helping people with severe mental illness manage their condition. Scientists have long since observed a trend of people with this illness developing diabetes down the line. Although the reason for this has been claimed to be multifactorial, recent research has linked it to antipsychotic use.

A review titled “Association Between Antipsychotic Medication Use and Diabetes” points out that higher doses of antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes and diabetes complications. In addition, according to this review, taking these drugs can potentially lead to weight gain, which is one of the risk factors for diabetes.

Another study explored the relationship between antipsychotics and diabetes. It found that children and youths who use antipsychotic treatment for mental illnesses like schizophrenia are at more risk of developing diabetes when they take these medications in cumulative doses.

Also, it states adults aren’t exempted from this risk as they can also develop type 2 diabetes after using these medications for a prolonged period. It further points out some of the metabolic effects of antipsychotics, including weight gain, insulin resistance, and increased glucose levels.

Statins

Cardiovascular problems aren’t uncommon in people with diabetes; for one, having diabetes increases the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Also, you stand the chance of cardiovascular issues if you have too much LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) in your system, regardless of if you have diabetes or not. Hence, one of the primary ways to tackle this problem is to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol you consume and up the intake of “good” ones (HDL).

Although you can rely on food sources for “good” cholesterol and avoid some diets to reduce LDL cholesterol, there are medications called statins, proven effective in reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body.

Depending on your level of diabetes, you should take a moderate or high-intensity statin to prevent further complications. The American Diabetes Association advises people over age 40 living with diabetes to opt for moderate potency statins.

A 2016 review established the link between blood sugar levels and statins. It was observed that this medication unfavorably affects blood glucose levels in diabetes patients. Another 2016 review corroborated this research, observing statins to increase blood sugar and ultimately increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Other researchers linked higher doses of statins to an increased risk of developing diabetes. For those already living with diabetes, this drug can potentially increase their blood sugar to a dangerous level. In addition, statins can cause health hazards instead of preventing them when not adequately monitored.

However, not all statins are bad eggs; there exist certain statins that rarely affect blood sugar, hence posing the lowest risk of elevated blood glucose levels (e.g., lovastatin and pravastatin). Some of these drugs aid blood glucose control in some cases. Still, more research needs to be carried out.

Despite the harm statins pose, they’re too crucial for cardiovascular health to be abandoned. Hence, the FDA recommends its usage regardless.

Antihypertensive drugs

About 47% of the adult population in the United States have hypertension with a blood pressure reading greater than 130/80 mmHg. Worldwide, about 26% of the population lives with hypertension.

Considering these statistics, the growing prevalence of hypertension is quite glaring. High blood pressure can still lead to various complications, including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease or failure, vision loss, etc.

Hypertension can occur in anyone, whether they have a preexisting condition or not. Thankfully, antihypertensive drugs containing agents like beta-blockers and diuretics help manage the condition. You can safely live with hypertension for a long time if adequately managed without fearing complications.

However, studies have shown these drugs can negatively affect blood glucose levels. For example, this research on “Antihypertensive Drugs and Glucose Metabolism” observed that medications like beta-blockers and diuretics are more likely to have disastrous effects on blood glucose which can lead to complications like cardiovascular diseases or diabetes. It also states that people living with hypertension also might experience insulin resistance which can contribute to the build-up of sugar in the body. 

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills and other contraceptives have proven effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy. For women with diabetes, patches, implants, pills, injections, and rings have been checked to be safe options. However, it’s no news that some present specific side effects when used.

Several researchers have looked into the relationship between diabetes and birth control methods. For example, some claimed that estrogen in birth control pills could cause insulin resistance in some patients, eventually leading to blood sugar spikes. In contrast, others didn’t find variation in blood glucose levels in women with diabetes taking birth control pills.

However, we can’t overrule the findings of this research. Hence, physicians often recommend birth control pills with the minimum estrogen level for women with diabetes. At the same time, some physicians avoid prescribing birth control pills to women living with diabetes.

Furthermore, other researchers have linked birth control pills to some diabetic complications, especially when taken for over two years.

Antibiotics

People with diabetes often need antibiotics due to various infections resulting from this condition. However, some antibiotics have been observed to cause insulin resistance, increasing blood sugar levels.

More particularly, a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones has been observed to cause high and low blood sugar. The antimicrobial drug (pentamidine) also has the potential to raise blood sugar.

Signs You Have High Blood Sugar 

High Blood Sugar

Your body has a way of naturally informing you when something is wrong with it. It does this by showing specific symptoms that won’t surface unless there’s a problem. Hence, you must pay attention to your body’s subtlest signs.

For example, when faced with hyperglycemia, the body provides several warning symptoms to alert you of this problem. So, here are some signs you’ll experience if your blood sugar levels are over the chart.

Earlier on, you might start to experience the following:

  • Extreme thirst or hunger
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Numb feet
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Skin infections 

Extreme symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Fruity smell of the breath
  • Labored breathing
  • Coma

If you experience any of the above symptoms, there’s the possibility you’re experiencing high blood sugar levels. You should check it out with your doctor to know for sure or perform blood sugar tests to figure this out for yourself.

However, if you start having extreme symptoms like fruity-smelling breath or vomiting, visit the nearest emergency room; you might be suffering from a condition known as ketoacidosis.

Testing Blood Sugar Levels at Home

testing Blood Sugar Levels

It’s a good idea to regularly check your blood sugar level, even when you’re not experiencing any of the symptoms above. Luckily, you don’t need to see your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room to get this done. Instead, you can easily check your blood sugar in the comfort of your home. Here are some ways you can do this:

Home Glucose Monitoring

Using a blood sugar meter, you can easily measure your sugar level. All you need is to follow these simple steps:

  • Wash and dry your hands
  • Using the lancet, prick the side of your finger
  • Massage until blood appears, then put a drop of blood on the test strip
  • Place the strip back into the meter

The meter will process your blood and display your blood sugar levels, after which you can go ahead and record the result.

Other types of meters allow you to test different parts of your body. For instance, you can test your forearm, thigh, or the base of your thumb. However, results from these kinds of meters tend to differ from that of a fingertip stick. Also, depending on the type of meter, you can get an average of your blood sugar levels over time or even access software that helps you better monitor this information.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

With this system, you can also measure your blood sugar level. Although it’s not as accurate as the method cited above, it can easily find patterns in your blood sugar levels.

It works by attaching a tiny sensor under the skin that monitors blood sugar levels every 5 minutes. This information is relayed to a monitor where you can access the details. Using this device’s cumulated information monitored over time, your doctor can spot trends in how your blood sugar ranges. However, this method shouldn’t replace regular blood sugar checks.

How to Manage Blood Sugar Level

Manage Blood Sugar Level

You can get your blood sugar level to stay within the normal range. This way, you can avoid complications that can come with high blood sugar. Here are some ways to manage your blood sugar:

Exercise

Physical exercise is one of the best ways to maintain that optimum blood sugar level. Therefore, people with diabetes are advised to get regular exercise. It not only helps control blood sugar, but you also get to shed excess weight that may be a risk factor for developing further complications.

However, avoid exercising when experiencing conditions like ketoacidosis (elevated ketone levels). Exercising in this state can further raise the blood sugar level.

Follow Proper Diet

Eating healthy is another way to ensure your blood sugar doesn’t go off the chart. There are unique diabetes diet plans specially created for people with diabetes. They’ll help better manage your condition and prevent spikes in blood sugar.

Avoid sugary beverages and frequent snacking. Also, ensure you stick to a particular meal plan. You can contact your doctor or dietitian to determine which meal plan is the best for you.

Check Your Blood Sugar Often

There’s no better way to get ahead of hyperglycemia than doing frequent blood sugar checks. That’ll give you a real-time update on your blood sugar level.

You can follow the earlier steps to check your blood sugar from home. Then, visit your doctor if you notice spikes in your blood sugar.

Adjust Your Insulin Doses

You might experience blood sugar spikes if you’re not taking the proper insulin doses. However, sometimes you need an extra amount to manage high blood sugar. You should check with your doctor to know when to up your doses to correct a high blood sugar level.

Take Your Medications Properly

Often, complications arise when you don’t take your prescription medicines correctly. Usually, taking too little or too much of a particular medication will significantly impact how they work and the kind of side effects they present. So, ensure you take your diabetes medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

Emergency Care For Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia

In case of severe hyperglycemia (which can result in diabetic ketoacidosis), you’ll need more than just exercise. Diabetic ketoacidosis is an acute medical condition resulting from too many ketones and sugar in the body. This condition can be life-threatening. Treatment includes:

Fluid Replacement

One of the symptoms of hyperglycemia is frequent urination. Hence, you’ll need to compensate for lost fluids by receiving fluids through your veins. The fluids will rehydrate you and help dilute excess sugar in the blood.

Electrolyte Replacement

Just like fluids, your body also loses several electrolytes due to the absence of insulin. These electrolytes are essential for the proper function of your tissues. For example, electrolytes are passed through your veins, ensuring your muscles, nerve cells, and heart function optimally.

Insulin Therapy

Ketoacidosis usually results from insufficient insulin to properly process sugar in your system. Therefore, you’ll need insulin to help manage this condition. Also, insulin reverses the build-up of ketones in the blood.

Summary

blood sugar levels

High blood sugar raises lots of concerns for people with diabetes. It often occurs due to the body’s inability to utilize the insulin hormone for processing blood glucose.

However, this guide taught you that certain medications can also increase blood sugar levels. These include but aren’t limited to diabetes, blood pressure, and mental health medications. These medications have been observed to influence insulin secretion, causing insulin resistance which can, in turn, lead to drug-induced diabetes.

You might not be able to avoid taking these medications. However, ensure you maintain healthy living by exercising regularly, following the right meal plan, and taking your medications correctly.

Our diabetes management app, can further aid you in adopting a healthy diet plan. It has all you need regarding the proper diabetes meal plans and exercise routines. This app can also help you monitor your blood glucose levels. However, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider for proper guidance.

Pregnant women are prone to developing abnormal blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, weight gain, and other hormonal and psychological changes.

Since glucose is the major fuel in the human body, significant changes in its concentration may result in problematic consequences for an expectant mother. Diabetes and low blood glucose levels are equally life-threatening to pregnant women.

In this light, we’ll discuss the relationship between diabetes and pregnancy, several crucial risk factors, ways to prevent or manage diabetes during pregnancy, and other relevant pieces of information.

After digesting this composition, you’ll realize the potential dangers of diabetes during pregnancy, how to avoid its occurrence or downplay its effects, and go on to have a healthy baby regardless of your blood glucose levels.

What to Expect

  • A Brief Recap of Diabetes
  • Types of Diabetes and Their Effects on Pregnancy
  • Factors Triggering Diabetes During Pregnancy
  • Dangers and Effects of Diabetes on Pregnancy
  • Treating and Managing Diabetes During Pregnancy
  • Popular Misconceptions About Pregnancy and Diabetes Resolved

A Brief Recap of Diabetes

diabetes and pregnancy

When people use the term “diabetes” loosely, they typically refer to diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. It shouldn’t be confused with diabetes insipidus — a less common metabolic disorder related to salt and water balance.

The normal fasting blood glucose level—concentration of glucose in blood measured before a meal—ranges from 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) to 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). On two different tests, an individual is said to have diabetes if their blood sugar level is up to 126 mg/dL (7mmol/L).

Women with diabetes are likely to suffer several pregnancy complications, and some women without prior history of diabetes may experience prediabetic or diabetic symptoms during pregnancy.

Types of Diabetes and Their Effects on Pregnancy

diabetes and pregnancy

The American Diabetes Association classifies diabetes mellitus into three major categories depending on the cause of the disorder. They include:

These diabetes variants negatively affect pregnancy in different ways. In the subsequent paragraphs, we’ll adequately shed light on the role each of these complications plays in pregnancy.

Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy

Insulin deficiency is responsible for the high blood sugar levels in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. Normally, insulin—a peptide hormone—stimulates the conversion of blood glucose to glycogen and its storage in the liver and muscle cells. Hence, the hormone reduces blood sugar concentration.

Women with insulin-dependent diabetes can have a healthy pregnancy. However, it increases the odds of suffering diabetic complications, such as high blood pressure, digestive and kidney diseases, and vision loss. Women with diabetes may also have excessively large babies (macrosomia) and children with birth defects.

Expectant mothers with type 1 diabetes usually require insulin more often than those without complications. If your insulin needs aren’t properly met when pregnant, you and the unborn child may suffer severe consequences. As other sections unfold, you’ll recognize the dangers of untreated or mishandled diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes and Pregnancy

In type 2 diabetes, although insulin production may be normal, the cells can’t effectively utilize the hormone. This disorder may be either due to reduced sensitivity of insulin receptors to the required hormone or an insufficient number of insulin receptors. Consequently, this insulin resistance results in high blood glucose levels.

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. As such, it’s a frequent occurrence in women of childbearing age.

Type 2 diabetes is linked to several complications, including obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Obesity and PCOS make conception more complex and are associated with infertility.

Similarly, uncontrolled insulin-resistant diabetes amplifies the risks of pregnancy challenges, such as preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension), macrosomia, and abnormally increased amounts of amniotic fluid. It may also lead to pregnancy loss, birth defects, and preterm delivery.

Considering these realities, diabetic mothers must watch their blood sugar levels before and during pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when women without a prior individual history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Typically, the placenta produces hormones causing blood glucose to accumulate. However, this occurrence is usually counteracted by insulin.

In the case of gestational diabetes, the body can’t make sufficient amounts of insulin or stops using the hormone effectively, causing high blood sugar levels. Pregnancy-influenced elevated blood sugar may negatively affect the health of the expectant mother and the unborn child.

Although overweight and obesity often contribute to the disease, its exact cause is unknown. Gestational diabetes usually occurs without noticeable symptoms other than polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (excessive hunger), and polyuria (frequent urination).

This type of diabetes poses serious dangers to the baby’s health, such as excessive birth weight, breathing problems, stillbirth, and early pregnancy. More concerning is that the mother with diabetes and the developing baby have a higher risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes later in life. Quite ironically, children whose mothers suffered gestational diabetes during their development may eventually contract hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Controlling the mother’s blood glucose levels during pregnancy can sustain maternal and fetal health and prevent the complications associated with pregnancy-associated diabetes.

Factors Triggering Diabetes During Pregnancy

diabetes and pregnancy

Several elements increase the chances of developing gestational diabetes and aggravate the effects of diabetes in pregnancy.

Some risk factors of diabetes to monitor before and during pregnancy include:

  • Overweight and obesity
  • Certain ethnic groups
  • Prediabetes
  • Maternal age
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • PCOS and other conditions associated with insulin problems
  • Hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart diseases
  • History of having large babies
  • History of miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects

Let’s have a more in-depth view of how these factors make you likely to experience diabetes during pregnancy.

Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity are often associated with diabetes and its related complications during pregnancy, especially gestational diabetes. Women that were overweight or obese before pregnancy may become insulin resistant when they get pregnant. Hence, they tend to come down with pregnancy-related diabetes.

Similarly, gaining excessive weight during pregnancy may also force you to develop diabetes.

Certain Ethnic Groups

Your likelihood of developing pregnancy-induced diabetes hinges partly on your ethnic group. Several studies have shown African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Alaska Natives, and Native Americans have higher risks of diabetes during pregnancy. Still, you can’t categorically tell if you’re safe or not through your ethnic group.

Prediabetes

Individuals with diabetes have a fasting blood glucose concentration of at least 126 mg/dL (7mmol/L). However, women with elevated fasting blood sugar levels (100 to 125 mg/dL or 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) but not high enough to be called diabetes—a condition known as prediabetes—have an increased risk of slipping into diabetes during pregnancy.

Maternal Age

Like most pregnancy-related complications, the risk of developing diabetes during gestation increases with the expectant mother’s age. Women older than 25 years are more prone to pregnancy-linked diabetes. Also, the effects of diabetes on pregnancy worsen as the woman ages.

Family History of Diabetes

Genes play a significant role in pregnancy-related diabetes. Thus, if some of your close relatives have experienced diabetes mellitus, you’re more likely to show diabetes symptoms when pregnant than those without a family history of the disease.

History of Gestational Diabetes

If you experienced diabetes in a previous pregnancy, you have a high chance of enduring a similar complication in a subsequent pregnancy.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Other Conditions Associated With Insulin Problems

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder causing the ovaries to be enlarged, with small cysts on their outer edges. The condition often makes the affected pregnant women more likely to experience critical complications. More significantly, pregnancy-related diabetes lies among its potential dangers to expectant mothers.

Most women with PCOS require treatment for insulin resistance, as the disorder often prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Other conditions affecting insulin production or activities in the body may also trigger diabetes during gestation.

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, and Heart Diseases

Pregnant women with abnormally elevated blood pressure (preeclampsia), high cholesterol levels, or heart diseases have an increased risk of high blood glucose concentrations.

History of Having Large Babies

If you previously had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth (macrosomia), you’re more prone to experiencing diabetes during the next pregnancy.

History of Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Birth Defects

You’re vulnerable to pregnancy-associated diabetes if you’ve lost a pregnancy, had a stillbirth, or delivered a child with a birth defect.

Dangers and Effects of Diabetes on Pregnancy

diabetes and pregnancy

Expectant mothers with diabetes are prone to various health issues. Sadly, diabetes doesn’t only put you at risk; the condition also threatens the unborn baby’s health.

Abnormally high blood glucose can harm the developing fetus during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you realize you’re pregnant.

Here are some dangers and negative effects of diabetes on pregnancy:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Digestive and kidney diseases
  • Respiratory issues
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth
  • Birth defects
  • Worsened diabetes symptoms
  • Excessively large babies (macrosomia)
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Cesarean delivery

Let’s extensively go over these possible outcomes of diabetes during pregnancy.

Preeclampsia

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), diabetes increases your risk of developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-associated disorder causing hypertension and excess protein in one’s urine (proteinuria) during the second half of gestation. It’s a severe and life-threatening condition for the mother and baby.

Giving birth is the only practical cure for preeclampsia. If you have preeclampsia, your healthcare practitioner may induce delivery once your pregnancy is up to 37 weeks.

However, suppose you show signs of the condition before 37 weeks. In that case, you and your physician may attempt other alternatives to help your unborn child develop until it’s old enough to survive outside the uterus.

Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Pregnancy-linked diabetes can cause and aggravate digestive and kidney diseases. Gastroparesis—a digestive problem involving delayed stomach emptying—is a common diabetes complication. Similarly, kidney diseases, like diabetic nephropathy, are worsened in pregnancy.

Respiratory Issues

Gestational diabetes can cause babies to suffer breathing problems, such as respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and transient tachypnea of the newborn when it’s born. These conditions occur due to diabetes-influenced preterm delivery preventing the respiratory organs from developing completely.

Miscarriage and Stillbirth

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reveals that diabetes increases the chances of losing pregnancy during the first trimester. High blood sugar can cause the baby to die in the mother’s womb in the last weeks of pregnancy (stillbirth).

Birth Defects

A baby’s vital organs, such as the brain, lungs, kidneys, and heart, begin forming during the first trimester of pregnancy. Elevated blood glucose at this early stage can trigger the birth of a child with birth defects affecting its brain, spine, or heart.

Worsened Diabetes Symptoms

Pregnancy deepens diabetes symptoms, such as diabetes-influenced kidney disease and vision problems.

Excessively Large Babies (Macrosomia)

Having diabetes during pregnancy can cause your baby to be born abnormally large — a condition known as macrosomia. Typically, affected newborns weigh more than 9 pounds.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia occurs when diabetes-incited macrosomia forces a baby’s shoulder to get caught in the birth canal during delivery.

Cesarean Delivery

Diabetic macrosomia and shoulder dystocia often complicate the delivery process, pushing the health care practitioner to perform a cesarean section to save the mother and baby’s lives.

Preventing Gestational Diabetes

diabetes and pregnancy

You can reduce your likelihood of developing pregnancy-associated diabetes through various practices.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) cites some major means of preventing elevated blood glucose during gestation. They include:

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Losing extra weight before conceiving can significantly decrease your possibility of acquiring diabetes during gestation if you’re overweight or leaning towards excessive weight. You may achieve a safe weight through healthy meals, routine exercises, and constantly watching your weight.

Being Physically Active

Constantly engaging in physical activities before pregnancy warms up your baby-accommodating infrastructure, preparing your body for a successful pregnancy.

Furthermore, being physically active during pregnancy can prevent the accumulation of toxic cholesterol in your body and help you maintain hormonal balance. This enables you to sustain a safe pregnancy.

General Body Checkup

Regularly performing a thorough checkup before pregnancy can help you assess your total body state and its readiness to support an unborn child. During pregnancy, routine checkups will enable you to determine your best next line of action at each point.

Your healthcare provider should examine you for the following before and during pregnancy:

  • Hypertension
  • Eye disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Heart disease
  • Blood vessel disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease

Treating and Managing Diabetes During Pregnancy

diabetes and pregnancy

Employing several measures from your last menstrual period until delivery can keep you and your baby healthy during diabetes-plagued pregnancy.

These treatment and management strategies for a heightened blood glucose concentration during pregnancy include lifestyle, dietary, and medical procedures.

Lifestyle Processes

The lifestyle approach to treating and managing elevated blood sugar during pregnancy involves:

Sustaining Target Blood Sugar Levels Before and During Pregnancy

Regular blood glucose monitoring and keeping your daily blood glucose level in a target range before and after conceiving can considerably tone down the effects of diabetes on your pregnancy. You should consult your healthcare team to know what targets are ideal for you.

The NIDDK recommends these blood glucose targets for most expectant mothers:

  • 95 mg/dL or less — before breakfast, at bedtime, and overnight
  • 140 mg/dL or less — 1 hour after meals
  • 120 mg/dL or less — 2 hours after meals

If you’re suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus, your physician may suggest higher targets to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).

Alternatively, you can confirm if you’re meeting your targets through an A1C blood test. The test reveals your mean blood sugar concentration within the last 3 months. It’ll help if you strive for an A1C close enough to normal — preferably less than 6.5%.

Routine Exercises and Physical Activities

Frequent exercises and physical activities normalize blood flow and cholesterol levels, relieve stress, strengthen organs and tissues, and keep the developing fetus active. Being physically active also keeps your blood sugar concentration in a healthy range.

If you have diabetes, devote about 30 minutes, 5 days a week, to physical activities before pregnancy. Even simple brisk walking should suffice.

Quit Alcohol Intake and Smoking

Alcohol worsens the effect of diabetes on pregnancy and can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome. Meanwhile, smoking increases your chances of experiencing a stillbirth or preterm delivery. As a result, the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) advises women with diabetes to abstain from alcohol and smoking during pregnancy.

Dietary Approach

Healthy meals and nutritional supplements validated by clinical trials may enable you to manage elevated blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Vitamin-rich diets and supplements are beneficial to expectant mothers with diabetes. If you have diabetes, you must start taking diets and supplements rich in folic acid (vitamin B9) at least a month before pregnancy.

Health professionals direct women with diabetes to consume a minimum of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before pregnancy and at least 600 mcg daily during gestation. Other minerals, such as iron, calcium, and multivitamins, can keep you and your unborn baby healthy.

Medical Procedures

Various medical procedures are available for effectively monitoring and managing diabetes during pregnancy. They range from simple medical care by a health care team to diabetes medications certified by a series of clinical trials.

Some beneficial medical strategies for pregnant women with diabetes, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), include:

  • Taking low-dose aspirin in the form of oral medication to thwart or delay the onset of preeclampsia
  • Insulin injections for offsetting decreased natural insulin levels
  • Fetal echocardiogram for examining your unborn baby’s heart
  • Regular ultrasounds to monitor fetal development
  • Working with a complete health care team — an endocrinologist or diabetologist for effective diabetes care; an obstetrician well-versed in diabetes; a diabetes educator to enlighten you properly on the disease; a nurse practitioner for prenatal care; a licensed nutritionist to assist your meal planning; a trained psychologist to enable you to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Conducting blood tests to check your blood sugar concentration, cholesterol levels, and ketones

Popular Misconceptions About Pregnancy and Diabetes Resolved

diabetes and pregnancy

Several myths about pregnancy-linked diabetes have been conceived and circulated since the 19th century. Here are some disproved misconceptions and unraveled truths about pregnancy and diabetes:

Misconception 1: It isn’t right for women with diabetes to get pregnant.

Reality: This myth was popular in the late 19th century. Although diabetes significantly complicates pregnancy, women with well-controlled diabetes can conceive and deliver safely.

Misconception 2: Gestational diabetes is lifelong.

Reality: A History of pregnancy-influenced diabetes makes you more likely to experience a similar condition in your next pregnancy. Yet, it isn’t a permanent disease and soon resolves after delivery and with appropriate disease control approaches.

Conclusion

diabetes and pregnancy

Even though diabetes makes pregnancy more difficult and vice versa, such conditions aren’t a death sentence if adequately treated and managed.

Babies born from a diabetes-associated pregnancy are more susceptible to obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. So, adopt a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet, routinely engage in physical activities, and regularly consult health care providers to lessen your and your child’s odds of developing these disorders.

Are you bothered about keeping up with your diabetes management routine during pregnancy? Our diabetes management app, Klinio, is one of your best bets for effectively managing diabetes when pregnant. It assists your meal planning processes, keeps you committed to your exercise routine, helps with your weight management plans, and provides other blood sugar management features.

When it comes to benefits, drinking water can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels by promoting lower blood sugar but also help you lose weight, which can help you cope with many symptoms of diabetes.

In this article, we’ll discuss the relationship between water and diabetes. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Importance of water intake for people with diabetes
  • How much water should you drink?
  • Can you drink other beverages?
  • Tips for drinking more water

Let’s get started.

Importance of Water Intake for Diabetes Patients

water for diabetes

Water is important for all individuals because it affects various general health areas. For people with diabetes, staying hydrated is even more important because it affects glucose levels and many other health factors associated with diabetes mellitus.

Hydration Is Essential for Numerous Body Functions

Overall, hydration is crucial for a well-functioning body and mind because water plays a role in nearly all body functions. 

On a micro level, water is responsible for dissolving minerals and nutrients so that they become available for the body and also aids in transporting nutrients and oxygen to the body cells. 

Additional water functions include body temperature regulation, protection of organs and tissues, and joint lubrication. 

People With Diabetes Are More Susceptible to Dehydration

A common symptom of diabetes is high blood sugar, which the body cannot regulate because insulin doesn’t work properly. When this happens, the kidney attempts to get rid of excess glucose by eliminating it through urine.

If the body isn’t properly hydrated, the kidneys rely on water from important tissues like brain tissue, potentially causing severe dehydration. 

Water Promotes Normal Blood Glucose Levels

Dehydration can increase blood sugar levels. This is because when there isn’t enough water in the body, it cannot dilute blood sugars, leading them to add up and concentrate in the blood. 

As such, drinking water can effectively lower your blood sugar levels. It can also prevent high blood sugar in the first place because blood sugars can be diluted immediately when the body is properly hydrated. 

Water Promotes a Healthy Weight

Proper hydration is crucial in a weight loss diet for multiple reasons. 

For starters, the body often confuses dehydration with hunger. As such, being dehydrated can lead to overeating. 

Moreover, water is an appetite suppressant because it passes through the body quickly and triggers a feeling of fullness. 

Water also plays an essential role in fat burning. When the body is dehydrated, it cannot metabolize stored fat properly. Lipolysis (the process of metabolizing fat) starts with the interaction between water and fats. If there isn’t enough water in the body, lipolysis cannot occur efficiently. 

Research also indicates that water can help you burn more calories. According to a study, participants who drank 500ML of water experienced increased energy expenditure. 

Last but not least, water can help you decrease the consumption of high-calorie drinks such as fruit juices, lowering your overall daily calorie intake. 

All of these factors ultimately result in more weight loss, and multiple studies have shown this to be true. 

According to one study, consuming water before a meal led to a 22% reduction in calorie intake. Unsurprisingly, another study showed that participants who drank water before meals lost 44% more weight than those who did not drink water before meals. 

Dehydration Leads to High Cortisol 

Research shows that chronic dehydration increases cortisol (the stress hormone), and cortisol has been linked to increased weight gain. 

Chronic high levels of cortisol can put you at risk of numerous health problems because it decreases the functioning of the immune system. 

Cortisol affects nearly all organs in the body and can lead to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and hypertension. 

Moreover, if you’re under stress, you’re more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as unhealthy eating, alcohol consumption, and spending too much time in sedentary activities such as using smartphones. 

Short-Term Dehydration Has Unpleasant Side Effects

Even in the short term, dehydration can bring negative side effects such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeats, confusion, and irritability. 

Water Is Essential for Brain Function

Nearly 85% of the human brain is made up of water. As such, it’s not surprising that dehydration can lead to numerous negative effects on the brain, including lack of focus, depression, brain fog, and reduced cognitive function. 

How Much Water Should You Drink?

water for diabetes

According to health experts, people should consume at least 2 liters of water per day. 

Can You Drink Other Beverages?

You might wonder if replacing water with other beverages is okay. The answer is that it depends. Pure water is considered the best method of hydration because it is calorie-free and provides essential minerals. 

If you’d like to drink other fluids instead, here are the safest fluids for people with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association: 

  • Unsweetened coffee 
  • Unsweetened teas such as green tea
  • Sugar-free soda 
  • Other store-bought low-calorie drinks

Milk and fruit juices can also be consumed, but with certain considerations to avoid blood sugar spikes.

How to Drink Milk

If you’d like to drink milk, it is recommended to do so in moderation because milk contains carbohydrates.

Additionally, try to opt for fat-free and low-fat milk options. Additionally, you can try dairy-free kinds of milk like almond milk and coconut milk. Some of these milk varieties are very nutritious and low in calories and carbohydrates. However, you need to ensure they’re unsweetened, as some of them have added sugars. 

How to Drink Fruit Juices

While fruit juices are generally not recommended because they contain natural sugars, you can drink them in moderation. 

Additionally, make sure that the juice you buy doesn’t contain added sugars, and try to opt for options that are the lowest in calories, such as grapefruit juice, watermelon juice, and strawberry juice. 

Drinks to Avoid

People with diabetes should avoid certain drinks because they’re high in calories and sugars:

  • Naturally high-sugar fruit juices like grape juice and pomegranate juice
  • Sweetened energy drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages, particularly cocktails
  • Soda (unless it’s diet soda)
  • Sugary drinks overall

How to Drink More Water

water for diabetes

If you struggle to incorporate a good amount of water into your daily routine, you’re not alone. Many people have a hard time committing to a specific amount of water per day. Luckily, there are ways to get around this problem. 

Acknowledge the Importance of Water

As we’ve discussed previously, water is tremendously important for your health, particularly if you have diabetes. 

The first step to ensuring you drink more water is acknowledging the benefits of doing so. This will boost your motivation and, in turn, make it easier for you to commit to a daily water intake routine.

Have a Daily Goal

Setting a daily water intake goal is a great way to hold yourself accountable and ensure you remember to hydrate yourself. 

Setting goals is also generally helpful because it gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to keep going.

Try an App

There are many apps available specifically for tracking your water intake. These apps include reminders to drink water and tracking tools to ensure accountability. 

Create a Routine

Having a specific routine for drinking water – for example, before every meal and every morning when you wake up – can turn water drinking into a habit. Over time, your body will get used to this routine, and abide by it naturally, ensuring you always reach your daily water goal. 

Carry a Water Bottle With You

If you spend most of your time outside your house, it may be easy to forget to drink water. To solve this issue, always carry a water bottle with you.

Eat Foods That Are High in Water

Foods like cucumbers, grapefruits, and zucchini are made up mostly of water. Adding these foods to your diet can help you consume more water naturally.

Try Sparkling Water or Flavored Water

If you find plain water boring, you may be tempted to have drinks with excess sugar.

Instead of that, you can try to drink sparkling water instead. Additionally, you can try to flavor your water to taste better.

Here are some flavored water ideas you can try:

  • Lemon and basil water
  • Cucumber and mint water
  • Strawberry water
  • Grapefruit and pomegranate water
  • Ginger water
  • Sugar-free lemonade

The great thing about flavored water is that it is easy to make and comes with minimal calories because there’s no extra sugar.

Mix around half a cup of fruits with 5 cups of water to make flavored water and leave them refrigerated for up to 24 hours. 

Infused waters can be consumed safely for up to 3 days after they’re made, as long as they’re refrigerated. 

Reward Yourself

Setting weekly rewards for achieving your water goals is a great way to boost motivation. As you feel the pleasure of getting a certain reward, you’ll be more motivated the following week to commit to your water drinking routine.

Conclusion

water for diabetes

Water consumption affects various areas of your overall health and diabetic-specific issues such as blood sugar levels.

If you need help in tracking your water intake, make sure to try the Klinio app. It allows you to track your water intake and various other health-related aspects such as your diet and physical activity.

Is Protein Good For People With Diabetes?

protein snacks

The positive thing about protein concerning diabetes is the fact that it has little to no effect on blood sugar levels. Of course, that doesn’t mean that any snack foods containing protein automatically aren’t going to raise blood sugar levels. It just means that the protein portion of those foods in question isn’t going to contribute to the issue.

If something is full of sugar and saturated fat to start with, then it isn’t going to be considered a suitable and filling snack despite its protein content.

In general, people who have diabetes don’t strictly need more protein than people who don’t have it, but since it can keep your blood sugar levels stable compared to added sugar and even healthy fat, lots of people with diabetes tend to opt for high protein-filled foods for their go-to healthy snack fix.

Of course, as with any kind of tasty snack, the trick is to stick to a small handful’s typical serving and not go overboard.

As long as you snack in moderation and try to incorporate healthy fats for the best health benefits, blood sugar control, and heart health, snacks for diabetes can be found in pretty much every supermarket and your own pantry.

With all of this in mind, we have put together a list of the best snacks that are protein-packed and can help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. As a diabetes patient, you should be doing everything that you can to manage blood sugar levels, lower blood sugar, keep a healthy diet and avoid developing heart disease.

All of the snacks for diabetes listed below are packed with things like heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that will be able to stabilize blood sugar and keep all of your nutrition stats in a positive and healthy range.

What Are the Best Snacks For People With Diabetes?

protein snacks

Here we list some snacks you can make from the ingredients you will usually have in your kitchen or are available in any grocery store. Preparation is minimal.

Apple Slices And Nut Butter

If you want to combine a sweet treat with fresh fruit, then there is nothing better than some apple slices spread with the nut butter of your choice.

Almond butter is something that a lot of people with diabetes opt for, and the American Diabetes Association even recommends it as a good alternative to dairy butter.

If you want to enjoy the peanut butter without the apple slices, you can always spread it on something like whole grain crackers, which are also great for people with diabetes. They can come in the form of packaged snacks which makes them easy to eat on the go, and they can be a real alternative to foods like potato chips that contain a lot of saturated fat.

Whether you have apple slices or whole grain crackers, it will satisfy a want for a crunchy snack.

Super Healthy Hard-Boiled Egg

Hard-boiled eggs are a perfect snack for people with diabetes for several reasons. They are very high in protein, they are a zero-carb food, and they will not do anything to cause or encourage high blood sugar levels.

Eggs on their own can be a bit boring if you eat them regularly, so one of our favorite ways to make them more exciting is to devil them!

This can be done by adding the yolks to some low-fat mayo and horseradish and then putting the mixture back in place. If you want things extra spicy, you can sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top.

This kind of snack will keep you nice and full until your next meal.

Dark Chocolate To Keep Blood Sugar Levels Stable

If you have a sweet tooth and don’t want to settle for dried fruit every time you want a snack, then dark chocolate is a sensible option.

Compared to white chocolate and milk chocolate, dark chocolate is lower in sugar and higher in protein, which is very much what we are looking for in terms of helping your blood sugars.

A few squares of dark chocolate combined with a few berries make for snacks rich in protein and antioxidants.

Edamame Beans Full Of Healthy Fats

Something a little bit different than the usually sliced veggies is delicious edamame beans. Forget a half-cup serving. You can have a whole bowl of these moreish beans, taken directly from the pod.

Edamame beans also contain a small amount of Vitamin E, which is good for improving diabetic health and is recommended by anyone undertaking nutrition therapy to try to manage their condition.

Greek Yogurt For Ideal Blood Sugar Control

Both Greek yogurt with flavoring and plain yogurt are great substitutes for more fatty types of yogurts. High in protein and low in fat, you can add things like pumpkin seeds and chia seeds to a bowl of Greek yogurt to turn it into a protein-filled snack that will keep you feeling full and satisfied until dinner time.

Cottage Cheese Is the Best Kind of Cheese

Cottage cheese won’t give you a savory hit like cheese crisps or parmesan cheese, but it is a much healthier alternative than most other low-fat cheese you see on supermarket shelves. Low-fat cottage cheese is great with salads as well as a dip for raw veggies.

It’s a classic example of snack food with high protein, low fat, and low sugar all at the same time.

Tuna Salad for Omega-3

Tuna and other kinds of fish and seafood are great for someone looking to maintain a high protein diet. You also get some super-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Some good-quality tuna with cucumber slices, crunchy lettuce, tomatoes, and a splash of olive oil is a healthy snack. Add tuna to cottage cheese if you want to increase the protein content.

Shrimp Cocktail Is Not Just an Appetizer

Another fish-based snack great for a protein punch without damaging blood sugars is a shrimp cocktail. You can snack on as many shrimps as you wish, along with the classic lettuce accompaniment.

The only thing to be aware of is how much full-fat mayonnaise you use to create your cocktail sauce. A simple way to eliminate this worry is to use low-fat or completely fat-free mayonnaise.

Roasted Chickpeas Are Good For Blood Sugar

Among the best snacks for diabetes that you can buy are roasted chickpeas. Thanks to a huge increase in the number of products to address various dietary requirements, roasted chickpeas in various flavors are available.

Chickpeas are one of the most nutrient-dense foods. A wonderful source of protein, and they make for a really filling snack that can help keep your blood sugar stable. On their own, they can run the risk of being a little bit bland or boring, but when you pair them with bold flavors like chili and lime juice, they make for a great snack.

Half a cup (or one cup if you are particularly hungry) of roasted chickpeas can boost your much-needed protein. A crunchy snack with a satisfying flavor and a ton of healthful fats to boot!

Popcorn for Some Whole Grains

It isn’t just people with diabetes who should eat more whole grains. The good news is that one of America’s favorite snacks is whole grain. We’re talking about popcorn. In this case, however, you do need to avoid the sweet versions. It is better to air pop your own and leave the prepared packs on the shelf because they usually contain trans fat (saturated fat), salt, and other unhealthy ingredients

Regular popcorn is very low in calories and delivers a nice hit of fiber.

Kind Bars – A Snack Bar You Can Buy

So many people love the convenience of grabbing a snack bar on the go, and there is a massive range available, but are they suitable for people with diabetes? Yes – some are. As with all processed foods, you must read the nutrition label carefully to avoid added sugar and saturated fat.

A recommended bar is the Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Bar from Kind. As well as being a good source of protein, it contains a lot of fiber to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel and keep you fuller for longer. It contains 4 grams of added sugar, so can be included in a diabetic diet.

Spanish Olives for a Hit of Oleic Acid

Oleic acid is known to help cells absorb sugar from the blood, and green olives are a prime source of this important nutrient. They are also high in monounsaturated fats. Be sure to buy Spanish olives or Manzanilla olives.

Make Your Own Protein Snacks

protein snacks

The significant benefit of making your own healthy snack from a recipe for people with diabetes is knowing exactly what ingredients go into it. Sometimes, even when you read the nutrition label, what you think is a healthy snack may well not be. For example, there are 56 names for sugar, and impossible to know and recognize them all. There’s no such issue with added sugar when you make your own healthy snacks.

Browse online, and you will find plenty of recipes for snacks for diabetes. Here’s a selection.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

An excellent snack that is simple to prepare can be made in a respectable amount and lasts for some time. These peanut butter protein balls are all those things and are also low in carbohydrates. An added bonus is that they take 10-12 minutes to make, and there’s no baking involved. You know the peanut butter will not impact your blood sugar adversely, and as well as the protein, you’ll get a nice hit of healthy fats and fiber. Plus, you get that hit of chocolate that so many people with diabetes crave. With this versatile recipe, swap in dried fruit and chopped nuts for the coconut and chocolate.

Strawberry-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark

A great snack for a sweet tooth that won’t make you worry about heart disease is like a candy bar for people with diabetes, and being frozen is ideal for a hot day. Just like regular chocolate bark, it is creamy thanks to its yogurt base but is studded with healthy fruit and the treat of dark chocolate chips. Add some pumpkin seeds for extra crunch.

Chia Seed Protein Bites

Chia seeds are one of the trendiest superfoods. They have been lauded for their appetite-taming qualities, healthy fats, and fiber. These little balls of deliciousness also contain peanut or almond butter, so they’ll fill you up without upsetting your blood sugar.

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are good for heart health because they are rich in magnesium. On their own, a handful can be a bit boring, so spice them up a bit. You can adjust the ratio of spices in this recipe to suit how hot you want them to be.

Coconut Banana Bread

Surely this isn’t a pathway to lower blood sugar. On the contrary, some clever person has used all different ingredients from those used in traditional banana bread. You can feel good about eating this bread because it contains absolutely no added sugar.

Closing Note

Being able to include snacks in your diabetic meal plan is about making sensible choices. It is equally important to know the nutritional value of the meal on your dinner plate as the sweet or savory food you choose to snack on. If you find yourself snacking too much or having too many cravings, review your overall diet because it means you are not eating properly in your three main meals.

Some consequences of chronic stress include inefficient blood sugar control, increased risk of various health problems, and even obesity.

Unfortunately, diabetes management is stressful in and of itself. Insulin therapy, blood sugar control, and weight management are only some of the aspects diabetes patients need to pay attention to, and it can get overwhelming.

Luckily, there are various techniques for managing stress.

This article will explore the relationship between diabetes and stress management in detail. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Consequences of stress
  • Common sources of stress
  • Stress management techniques

Let’s get started.

Consequences of Stress

Diabetes and Stress

Stress can affect your health in many ways. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Stress Affects Blood Sugar Levels

Blood glucose control is one of the most important aspects of managing diabetes. Unfortunately, it can be affected by stress.

When stressed, the body prepares itself for a “fight or flight” response by releasing hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and glucagon. 

These hormones make it harder for insulin to work properly, exacerbating insulin resistance while simultaneously releasing extra glucose from the liver. This causes blood glucose levels to rise. 

Chronic Stress Leads to an Increased Risk of Health Conditions

It is well-known that chronic stress negatively affects the immune system, making the body more susceptible to developing a wide range of illnesses. 

This is especially problematic for patients with diabetes because they’re already at high risk of developing serious health conditions. 

More significantly, it has been proven that stress is directly related to illnesses like high blood pressure and heart disease. Unfortunately, people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing these conditions even when not under stress. 

Finally, stress can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, which people with diabetes are also at high risk for.

Stress Can Lead To Unhealthy Behaviors

Some individuals cope with stress in unhealthy ways. 

They may engage in emotional eating (eating food for emotional comfort rather than physical hunger). Emotional eating can lead to additional stress due to feelings of shame and guilt and low self-esteem.

Stress can also lead to an increase in sedentary behavior. While individual effects vary, this makes sense theoretically in numerous ways. 

For starters, stress can lead individuals to seek out sedentary activities such as watching TV and over-using smartphones as a form of pleasure and distraction. 

Stress can also cause depression and anxiety (making it harder to commit to a consistent exercise routine) and insomnia, which can cause daytime fatigue, making it challenging to perform physical activities. 

Both emotional eating and sedentary behavior can lead to weight gain, further exacerbating symptoms of diabetes and making it harder to manage the condition overall. It’s also worth noting that cortisol is linked to a decreased metabolism, making it even more likely that stressed individuals would gain weight. 

Finally, stress can lead to unhealthy coping strategies such as using substances like alcohol, drugs, and medications. The effects of these substances can cause dramatic negative effects on a person’s physical and mental health and put them at risk of addiction. 

As we’ve discussed, coping with stress is absolutely crucial for people with diabetes. Before we discuss ways to do so, it’s essential to cover common sources of stress so that you can be attentive to these sources. This allows you to manage stress more effectively. 

Common Sources of Stress 

Diabetes and Stress

Stress can come from many different sources, including internal feelings, external conditions, and diabetes. 

External Conditions

Sometimes stress is caused directly by difficult life events such as the death of a loved one, financial difficulties, relationship problems, and divorce. 

Novel life events such as getting married, having a baby, and starting a new job can also cause stress. 

Internal Conditions 

Certain maladaptive thinking patterns can also cause stress:

  • Pessimism
  • Rigid thinking
  • Low self-esteem 
  • Perfectionism 

Diabetes

Managing diabetes is not an easy task. It entails being careful about nutrition, taking medications, and controlling blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, “It can leave you feeling run down, emotionally drained, and completely overwhelmed.”

Moreover, anxiety over blood sugar fluctuations can also cause stress due to fear and anxiety. 

More specifically, a condition called hypo anxiety – which refers to anxiety over your blood sugar going too low – is quite common among diabetes patients because low blood sugar can lead to severe consequences such as seizures and loss of consciousness. 

Stress Management Techniques

stress management

Let’s go over some ways to relieve stress healthily. 

Find Out What Is Causing Your Stress

While practices such as meditating – which we’ll cover later on – can be highly effective, it’s crucial to address your stress’s specific causes. 

Sometimes, you have control over the cause. If your stress is caused by internal factors such as pessimism, it’s important to acknowledge this and incorporate practices that lead to healthier ways of thinking (such as avoiding negative thoughts). 

At other times, the cause can be traced back to stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one and divorce. For these causes, it is helpful to accept difficult emotions rather than resisting them and to acknowledge that time is needed for you to either feel better (when the external factor cannot be changed) or to change the situation (when the external factor is temporary such as unemployment).

Exercise

According to a review of studies, exercising causes neurochemical changes that decrease stress. It directly reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. In addition, it makes the body produce endorphins, hormones that naturally elevate mood and decrease pain. 

Moreover, merely committing to an exercise routine will make you feel more responsible, which increases self-esteem. Exercise can also lead to weight loss and an improved body shape, which increases self-confidence. Positive feelings about oneself can make your mood better, decreasing stress. 

Additionally, exercise is an effective way to manage diabetes. It can help patients with type 2 diabetes go into remission, vastly decreasing the stress of dealing with the condition. 

Lastly, exercising promotes enhanced blood sugar control and improved insulin sensitivity, promoting long-term glycemic control and reducing the stress associated with blood sugar fluctuations. 

Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological therapy that focuses on changing unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving. 

CBT has been proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of psychological conditions. When it comes to stress, CBT can help you learn how to cope better with diabetes-related stress by helping you think about more adaptive ways about your condition and behave in a manner that allows for better coping. 

Moreover, you can also work with your therapist to treat additional sources of stress, including stressful events and thinking patterns such as negativity and unhealthy behaviors. 

For enhanced results, you can combine CBT with therapy involving support groups for individuals coping with illnesses.

Alternatively, you can try other forms of stress management training, such as online courses.

Meditation

Meditation is a practice that involves inducing a deep state of relaxation in oneself by focusing on a specific thing – such as deep breathing – rather than thinking. 

If you’re feeling uneasy at a particular moment, meditating can help you reduce stress because it allows you to relax and stop the stream of negative thoughts from firing. It allows your mind to be clearer, and a clear mind allows you to handle your thoughts in more adaptive ways, in turn improving your emotional state.

In the long term, meditation has powerful effects that can help you deal with stress. 

According to a study, participants were divided into a control group and a treatment group participating in a mindfulness-based stress management program lasting 8 weeks.

Results showed that the intervention group displayed a significant reduction in the size of the amygdala region of the brain, which is responsible for stress.

This effect was, in turn, correlated with reduced stress levels.

It’s worth noting that the same study also found that participants experienced a significant difference in the thickness of brain regions associated with various positive emotions and behaviors, including emotional regulation, learning, perspective-taking, memory, and cognition. 

These positive effects can vastly improve your quality of life and self-concept, aiding in reducing stress.  

If you want to start practicing meditation, you can easily incorporate it into your routine by doing it at home. Another option is to undertake a mindfulness-based stress reduction program.

Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that has been proven effective in treating a wide variety of conditions, including disease control and stress reduction.

In one study, nursing students’ stress levels were measured and compared to stress levels after they performed PMR. Results showed that they experienced a statistically significant decrease in perceived stress levels. 

If you want to try PMR, here’s how it works:

  1. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position and breathe deeply
  2. Tightly squeeze your feet for a few breaths, and then release
  3. Repeat the second step for every muscle group, going from the feet up to the face
  4. Repeat for any muscle groups that feel particularly tense

Practice Self-Care

Self-care involves performing activities that enhance your physical and mental health. 

The popularity of this practice has grown significantly in the past few years, and for a good reason. Health improvements associated with self-care activities make you feel generally better, leading to decreased stress.

Moreover, certain self-care activities such as exercising can be considered stress reduction techniques in and of themselves.

Here are some self-care behaviors you can try:

  • Practice gratitude
  • Meditate
  • Reserve time for pleasurable activities
  • Go for a yoga class or any form of physical activity
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Engage in creative activities such as drawing
  • Use scented candles or essential oils
  • Treat yourself with a massage, special meal, or anything that makes you feel good.

Closing Off

Diabetes and Stress

Managing your physical health is a great way to reduce the stress associated with diabetes. To do so, make sure to check out the Klinio app. It is specifically designed to help people with diabetes manage various aspects of their condition.