Been just diagnosed with prediabetes and are fearfully waiting—or calmly wondering—how long before you have type 2 diabetes?
How soon a person goes from prediabetes to diabetes is a very interesting question, especially since prediabetes can be reversed with lifestyle changes.
How Long Before Prediabetes
Turns into Type 2 Diabetes?
“That depends on the individual and their diet, age, weight and body fat,” says Stacy Mitchell Doyle, MD, resident physician of FoodTherapyMD and long-time advocate of plant-based nutritional protocols.
Dr. Doyle explains, “The more plant-based, non-processed foods you eat, the slower the progression.
“The less body fat you have, the slower the progression. Those who have diets high in sugar, junk foods and meat will be diabetic sooner. It could be a period of months, to years.”
If you’re on course for making it months, you can change that to years – or never.
But if this is the case, why do so many people with prediabetes go on to develop full-fledged type 2 diabetes?
The answer is simple. Few people are willing to make the lifestyle changes required to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
Though age can’t be changed, a change in diet, exercise habits and body fat goes an exceptionally long way as far as halting the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.
• Eliminate processed foods. Yes, this sounds impossible, but even if 10 percent of your diet is processed food, this will cause a dramatic improvement in your body’s glucose metabolism.
• Eliminating as much processed food as possible is not as difficult as you may think.
For example, you can learn to make homemade potato salad, including homemade dressing—all natural, fresh ingredients.
• This change in diet will result in fat loss (though a small percentage of prediabetics are not overweight).
• Do strength training. Lifting weights increases the number of insulin receptor sites on your muscle cells.
The more of these sites you have, the less sugar buildup in your blood, since there are more receptor sites for insulin to transport sugar molecules to.
• If these changes have not reversed your prediabetes, don’t be quick to chalk it up to genetics or heredity just yet. It could be sleep apnea!
Though obesity and a short thick neck are risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea, so is surplus throat tissue, a small jaw, a large tongue base and a large uvula – which even a thin young woman can have.
One of the most striking symptoms of untreated obstructive sleep apnea is having to get up in the middle of the night several times to urinate – especially if you avoid fluid intake for several hours prior to bedtime. If this describes you, you may want to undergo a home sleep study.
Untreated sleep apnea causes the body to make urine overnight (just why and how is a whole new article!).
Prediabetes does NOT have to turn into type 2 diabetes, even if this has happened to several of your family members. You CAN prevent your prediabetic status from becoming a type 2 diabetes diagnosis!