If you are like most working women, self-care is not a top priority–when one feels at peak, one tends to ignore personal health–yet, an astonishing 29% of adult women in the United States have pre-diabetes–the silent conduit to type 2 Diabetes. Businesswomen who plow through their workdays without caring for themselves are at particular risk for this asymptomatic condition. Those who are overweight, sedentary, have family history of diabetes, and/or have had gestational diabetes, are at an even greater risk and should ask their physicians to test their blood sugar regularly.
But pre-diabetes needn’t be a life sentence: This condition can be reversed with simple changes in lifestyle, diet, and mental outlook. Adding supplements and organic or certified pure tested grade essential oils (EOs) to your daily dietary regimen can also provide valuable support.
What Is Pre-diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is diagnosed when a person’s blood sugar levels are above normal, yet not high enough to be considered diabetic. According to the American Diabetes Association, patients “almost always” develop pre-diabetes before they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Doctors generally find pre-diabetes at an annual checkup with a simple blood test; after that, pre-diabetics should be tested for diabetes every 1-2 years.
Pre-diabetes can develop when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels, or when cells do not respond well to insulin and have difficulty cleaning glucose from the blood. This “insulin resistance” causes the pancreas to produce more insulin to support the glucose metabolism process. But if the pancreas cannot make sufficient insulin to overcome cells’ insulin resistance, blood sugar levels increase beyond a healthy range. If, on the other hand, your pancreas overreacts to insulin resistance, it could increase risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, and could even reduce life expectancy.
Modifying Lifestyle to Prevent Pre-diabetes from Becoming Type 2 Diabetes
If you’ve been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, or been advised that you are headed that way, you have the power to reverse the course and improve your health. Modifications are relatively simple even for super-active women and can deliver added benefits of weight loss and overall physical well-being.
Diet Adjustments are Essential. But they don’t have to be onerous. Try the Mediterranean or healthy keto diet and increase fiber consumption ASAP.
Reduce intake of refined carbohydrates and sweeteners (high-fructose corn syrup, sodas, juices, sweets, breads/crackers, potato chips) the empty calories. Lower trans/saturated fat intake, reduce portion sizes, and try intermittent fasting and vegetable juicing; Drink more water and less alcohol.
Exercise Regularly. Putting in just 20 minutes each day to walk or ride a stationary bike or treadmill before or after work can be an enjoyable and healthy way to clear one’s mind and reset mental outlook. Over-exercising is counterproductive as weight control when trying to lower blood sugar, so avoid overdoing it. To increase Human Growth Hormone (HGH)and burn more fat, try increasing HIIT: high-intensity Interval training). Weight resistance exercises, especially valuable for increasing bone density in women, will build more muscle, which in turn will enable your body to burn more fat.
Reduce Inflammation. Dietary supplements, including omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin from turmeric, can combat inflammation that accompanies prediabetes. Quitting smoking and eliminating inflammatory foods, such as dairy, gluten, nightshades, and lectins, are also critical steps benefiting overall health, not just pre-Diabetes concerns.
Get Better Sleep. Researchers find Sleep Apnea quite common–especially among obese and hypertensive women–while addressing it can improve glucose metabolism in pre-diabetics. This is partially due to the link between sleeping less than 5 or more than 8 hours per night and development of higher blood sugar levels. Essential oils that can promote healthier sleep patterns and also smell good, include lavender, vetiver, and roman chamomile Try some in a diffuser or nebulizer when you close your eyes after a long workday. Certain EOs can also combat pre-diabetes when taken internally: (1) coriander – promotes a healthy insulin response; (2) cinnamon/cassia – balances blood sugar levels; and (3) turmeric – is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Change of Outlook. Changing one’s mental outlook can also greatly improve physical health. Anxiety and depression are more prevalent in women, especially those routinely working long hours. Depression, in particular, can increase a woman’s diabetes risk–in part because it tends to accompany elevated cortisol levels, increased belly fat, and lower exercise frequency.
Add a New Therapeutic Regimen. There are a wide variety of appealing spiritual tools to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. These include consciousness management (see theavatarcourse.com), EOs (frankincense, tangerine, wild orange, and those above that promote sleep), meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi, journaling, and aerobic exercise.
Dietary Supplements Can Address Multiple Factors Implicated in Pre-diabetes
Here are a few health issues that benefit from supplements:.
Doctors generally recognize the important role of Magnesium in the prevention and treatment of many women’s health issues, including PCOS, PMS, pregnancy, and menopause. This essential macro-mineral not only can relax muscles, reduce stress, and enhance sleep, as well as help manage insulin and carbohydrate metabolism. In one study of 219 women published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers also concluded that higher dietary magnesium intake may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Magnesium glycinate is both particularly effective and gentle on the intestines.
Sleep, Stress & Anxiety
Working women with sleep and stress issues can benefit immensely from appropriate natural remedies. While one solution can’t meet every woman’s needs, the following can be particularly effective when used separately or in combination, in some cases by lowering cortisol: inositol (a sugar that supports the processing of insulin; may help balance brain chemicals); ashwagandha (an Ayurvedic herb that helps the body cope better with daily stress, anxiety, mental and physical fatigue, and depression); melatonin (the sleep hormone produced by the pineal gland), Relora® (magnolia and phellodendron), and a clinically studied variety of echinacea angustifolia root extract (EP107™).
Supplements effect on weight loss will largely depend on the reasons one gains or retains it, such as hormonal imbalances, age, compulsive or emotional/stress eating, inactivity, food addiction, etc. Berberine (compared to Metformin in studies), known as an AMPK enzyme activator, is a well-studied plant compound known to lower blood sugar, balance body lipids, and combat obesity. It may provide particular support to overweight women suffering from ovarian cyst syndrome (PCOS), because it reduces the secretion of Leptin, an appetite-stimulating hormone which exacerbates that condition. Chromium (especially Chromemate®) is a trace mineral that increases insulin sensitivity. Research has proven that chromium supplementation is effective in improving glucose and insulin metabolism in women with gestational diabetes. Studies to date have demonstrated that modifying the bacteria naturally found in the gut with probiotics can reduce chronic systemic inflammation, lower body weight, and improve insulin sensitivity and glucose and fat metabolism. The researchers who conducted one 24-week study found that a probiotic formulation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus helped obese women achieve sustainable weight loss.
In business and in health, success breeds success. Rather than trying to change everything at once, work on moving towards better health step by step. When you see improvements from one lifestyle change, you will be motivated to make additional adjustments that can easily work into your hectic work schedule and increase your well-being
Erika Dworkin, ESQ; BCHN®, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition, is a licensed health and wellness expert, and seasoned entrepreneur. An attorney licensed in New York, Connecticut, and Washington, DC, Dworkin empowers women to optimize their well-being and stay youthful. She is currently developing Vitathena Wellness,a hybrid online/in-person successor to her family’s 65-year old award-winning brick-and-mortar nutrition center, which they closed earlier this year. The statements in this article are scientific evidence- or practice-based, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, are solely for educational purposes, and are not intended to take the place of a physician’s advice.
Erika is offering a FREE 30-MINUTE WELLNESS ASSESSMENT and welcomes contact at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: Women’s Biz Wellness Question) or 860.646.8178. to request your session or to ask health questions. References are available upon request.