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Before There Was Diabetes, There Was Pre-diabetes

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2008-06-21 04:57:39     
Article by Edwin Buckley

Let's talk about pre-diabetes. Isn't everybody pre-diabetic? Something like, before I had diabetes, I didn't have diabetes. Well, semantically, I suppose that would be the case, but in reality, no. Speaking of semantics, pre-diabetes is also called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG).

A pre-diabetic is someone who has blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as a diabetic. With the passing of time, excessive glucose in your blood can cause damage to your body.

A pre-diabetic is more prone to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or have a stroke. There is good news, and that is in knowing that the development of type 2 diabetes may be delayed, or even be preventable.

Anybody can be a pre-diabetic, and for most, there are no symptoms of being so. Still, if you are 45 years of age or older, are overweight, and do not see to having enough exercise, your doctor might recommend that you be tested consider testing your blood for blood glucose levels. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), you should consider being tested, regardless of age, if you are overweight and

-are physically active less than three times a week
-have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
-have high blood pressure
-have abnormal levels of HDL cholesterol or triglycerides, two types of blood fats
-had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
-are African-American, American Indian,Hispanic/Latino, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander
-have polycentric ovary syndrome
-have dark, thick, velvety skin around your neck or in your armpits
-have blood vessel problems affecting your heart, brain, or legs

For those with normal results, you should be retested in 3 years. Those determined to have pre-diabetes should be tested every year or two for type 2 diabetes.

Losing weight is one way to prevent or delay diabetes. It might even reverse pre-diabetes. Physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day is highly recommended. Talk to your doctor about a proper dietary program.

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a major clinical trial. Among its findings was the fact that 90% to 95% of diabetics had type 2, that in the year 2000, approximately 40% of U.S. adults within the age range of 40-74 had pre-diabetes.

The DPP further found that "[p]articipants in the lifestyle intervention group-those receiving intensive counseling on effective diet, exercise, and behavior modification-reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. This finding was true across all participating ethnic groups and for both men and women. Lifestyle changes worked particularly well for participants aged 60 and older, reducing their risk by 71 percent. About 5 percent of the lifestyle intervention group developed diabetes each year during the study period, compared with 11 percent in those who did not get the intervention. Researchers think that weight loss-achieved through better eating habits and exercise-reduces the risk of diabetes by improving the ability of the body to use insulin and process glucose.

Participants taking metformin reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 31 percent. Metformin was effective for both men and women, but it was least effective in people aged 45 and older. Metformin was most effective in people 25 to 44 years old and in those with a body mass index of 35 or higher (at least 60 pounds overweight)."

With type 2 diabetes being the most prevalent form, and with those diagnosed as type 2s growing at such a rate, does it not seem reasonable to take a little care? One way or the other, the growing number of those diagnosed as having diabetes affects all of society. Small changes at an early stage could have such a wonderful result.

Edwin Buckley has an MS in Health Care Administration from Central Michigan University. He recently started a blog, Diabetes and Living With It, which is intended as a sharing of information and stories for those with diabetes or having one they care for who has diabetes. It may be found at http://diabetesandlivingwithit.blogspot.com

Specialized in: Diabetes - Pre-diabetes
URL: http://diabetesandlivingwithit.blogspot.com
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