Losing weight can lessen pain from prediabetes
About 41 million American adults have prediabetes -- higher-than-healthy blood sugar levels that don't quite qualify as diabetes. ASome will suffer tissue damage that's more common in full-blown disease: death of small nerves in the hands and feet, causing chronic pain. But University of Utah research found that losing just a little weight may actually regenerate those nerves.
Good news: After 1 year, pain disappeared in 22 out of 32 people with prediabetes who lost 7 percent of their body weight through healthy eating and exercise. Biopsies taken at the beginning and the end of the study showed that nerve fibers increased by 33 percent at one spot on the calf and 29 percent at another spot on the thigh in all participants.
Why it works: Lowering body fat helps lower blood sugar levels. Elevated levels have been found in other research to damage tiny nerve endings.