Malcolm McDowell Woods
Simply Health

Pre-diabetes can be a gift

By - Oct 1st, 2009 10:18 am
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Judy Mayer October 2009 Simply Health
Blood Sugar Gone Bad
During a workplace wellness campaign, it was discovered that Mr. Berns had a higher than normal blood pressure reading. He was referred to his family physician who diagnosed his hypertension and as a matter of course ordered routine lab work to be done.
It was discovered that Mr. Berns also had elevated cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), triglycerides and a low HDL (good cholesterol) — all of these risk factors for heart disease. In addition, his “fasting blood glucose” measured higher than normal.
Fasting blood glucose levels reveal the amount of glucose in the blood after an eight-hour fast; this is often the first test performed by doctors in a diabetes diagnosis. In this case, Mr. Berns was diagnosed with “pre-diabetes.”
The large belly that protruded over his belt had been accumulating for 52 years. His poor diet, a few too many drinks and lack of exercise had finally caught up with him. He had never given much thought to diabetes and his image of a person with diabetes was someone who ate lots of sugar, and of course, he thought it was something that could never happen to him.
The good news is that Mr. Berns was diagnosed with PRE-diabetes — not diabetes.
Diabetes is well known as a leading cause of death in the United States. However, many people have not have heard of pre-diabetes. This condition was formerly referred to as IGT (impaired glucose tolerance) or IFG (impaired fasting glucose), both confusing terms. “Pre-diabetes” is a clearer way of explaining what it means to have higher than normal blood sugar. While the name is new, the condition certainly is not.
What is pre-diabetes? It’s the state that occurs when a person’s blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Some 57 million people over the age of 21 have pre-diabetes and an additional 6.3 million adult Americans have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. It is a serious condition and one that should not be taken lightly. Pre-diabetes can last for seven to 10 years before diabetes develops. People with pre-diabetes are at a much greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and have a 50 percent higher risk of developing heart disease; another leading killer. An astonishing one in four adults has pre-diabetes!
Are there warning signs? Yes, and they include fatigue, food cravings and weight gain, although not everyone will experience symptoms and in many cases there are no warning signs at all. Also, symptoms may be so gradual that they go unnoticed or are shrugged off as the normal ups and downs of life.
Are there factors that may increase the risk of getting pre-diabetes? Indeed there are. Anyone with a family history of diabetes, anyone who is overweight, has high blood pressure, a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), low HDL (good cholesterol), high triglycerides, and anyone of Hispanic, Asian, native American or African-American descent is at risk. Mr. Berns had several of these risk factors!
What can be done after a diagnosis of pre-diabetes? It’s a relief to know that a diagnosis of pre-diabetes does not mean you will get diabetes — it simply means you’re at a greater risk of developing the disease. The good news is that if you know you have the condition, there are lifestyle changes and medications that may help prevent or delay the progression of type 2 diabetes. Accept this diagnosis as a gift and get to work!
A loss of 10 to 15 pounds and 30 minutes of exercise five days a week will decrease the risk of getting diabetes. Even if you lose only seven percent of your body weight, you will reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, according to the Diabetes Prevention Program. This is because working muscles use more glucose than muscles at rest. With continued moderate exercise, your muscles take up glucose at almost 20 times the normal rate, and this lowers blood sugar levels. This doesn’t imply strenuous activity – going for a brisk walk at a pace that enables you to hold a conversation will do the trick.
Exercise is free medication. It helps you to burn excess body fat, help to lose weight, improve muscle strength, lower blood pressure, increase HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol).
Eat as if you already have diabetes — it’s how we should be eating anyway.
Start by eating more fiber! It’s never been a secret that fiber helps you to feel full, and that is all the more reason to eat more of it. Peas, beans, barley, flax meal, vegetables, oats (especially oat bran) and vegetables and most fruits are solid sources, with any type of berry, apples and pears having the most fiber to offer.
Eat more of the good fats and less of the saturated and hydrogenated fats. Consume Omega-3’s and monounsaturated fats such as olive and canola oil instead. Eat nuts and avocados on your salads — eat like a squirrel!
And one last thing: Should you be tested for pre-diabetes? Regardless of your weight, if you are 45 or older, the American Diabetes Association recommends you get screened for pre-diabetes. If more people are diagnosed with pre-diabetes and make lifestyle changes, it’s likely that heart attacks, strokes and diabetes can all be significantly reduced. So what are you waiting for?
Resources:
For more information on preventing diabetes, go to:
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov
The American Diabetes Association is found at www.diabetes.org
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has information at: www.cdc.gov
,
 
Outpost nutritionist Judy Mayer suggests eating as if you have diabetes to prevent pre-diabetes from advancing.

Outpost nutritionist Judy Mayer suggests eating as if you have diabetes to prevent pre-diabetes from advancing.

During a workplace wellness campaign, it was discovered that Mr. Berns had a higher than normal blood pressure reading. He was referred to his family physician who diagnosed his hypertension and as a matter of course ordered routine lab work to be done.

It was discovered that Mr. Berns also had elevated cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), triglycerides and a low HDL (good cholesterol) — all of these risk factors for heart disease. In addition, his “fasting blood glucose” measured higher than normal.

Fasting blood glucose levels reveal the amount of glucose in the blood after an eight-hour fast; this is often the first test performed by doctors in a diabetes diagnosis. In this case, Mr. Berns was diagnosed with “pre-diabetes.”

The large belly that protruded over his belt had been accumulating for 52 years. His poor diet, a few too many drinks and lack of exercise had finally caught up with him. He had never given much thought to diabetes and his image of a person with diabetes was someone who ate lots of sugar, and of course, he thought it was something that could never happen to him.

The good news is that Mr. Berns was diagnosed with PRE-diabetes — not diabetes.

Diabetes is well known as a leading cause of death in the United States. However, many people have not have heard of pre-diabetes. This condition was formerly referred to as IGT (impaired glucose tolerance) or IFG (impaired fasting glucose), both confusing terms. “Pre-diabetes” is a clearer way of explaining what it means to have higher than normal blood sugar. While the name is new, the condition certainly is not.

What is pre-diabetes? It’s the state that occurs when a person’s blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Some 57 million people over the age of 21 have pre-diabetes and an additional 6.3 million adult Americans have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. It is a serious condition and one that should not be taken lightly. Pre-diabetes can last for seven to 10 years before diabetes develops. People with pre-diabetes are at a much greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and have a 50 percent higher risk of developing heart disease; another leading killer. An astonishing one in four adults has pre-diabetes!

Are there warning signs? Yes, and they include fatigue, food cravings and weight gain, although not everyone will experience symptoms and in many cases there are no warning signs at all. Also, symptoms may be so gradual that they go unnoticed or are shrugged off as the normal ups and downs of life.

Are there factors that may increase the risk of getting pre-diabetes? Indeed there are. Anyone with a family history of diabetes, anyone who is overweight, has high blood pressure, a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), low HDL (good cholesterol), high triglycerides, and anyone of Hispanic, Asian, native American or African-American descent is at risk. Mr. Berns had several of these risk factors!

What can be done after a diagnosis of pre-diabetes? It’s a relief to know that a diagnosis of pre-diabetes does not mean you will get diabetes — it simply means you’re at a greater risk of developing the disease. The good news is that if you know you have the condition, there are lifestyle changes and medications that may help prevent or delay the progression of type 2 diabetes. Accept this diagnosis as a gift and get to work!

A loss of 10 to 15 pounds and 30 minutes of exercise five days a week will decrease the risk of getting diabetes. Even if you lose only seven percent of your body weight, you will reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, according to the Diabetes Prevention Program. This is because working muscles use more glucose than muscles at rest. With continued moderate exercise, your muscles take up glucose at almost 20 times the normal rate, and this lowers blood sugar levels. This doesn’t imply strenuous activity – going for a brisk walk at a pace that enables you to hold a conversation will do the trick.

Exercise is free medication. It helps you to burn excess body fat, help to lose weight, improve muscle strength, lower blood pressure, increase HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol).

Eat as if you already have diabetes — it’s how we should be eating anyway.

Start by eating more fiber! It’s never been a secret that fiber helps you to feel full, and that is all the more reason to eat more of it. Peas, beans, barley, flax meal, vegetables, oats (especially oat bran) and vegetables and most fruits are solid sources, with any type of berry, apples and pears having the most fiber to offer.

Eat more of the good fats and less of the saturated and hydrogenated fats. Consume Omega-3’s and monounsaturated fats such as olive and canola oil instead. Eat nuts and avocados on your salads — eat like a squirrel!

And one last thing: Should you be tested for pre-diabetes? Regardless of your weight, if you are 45 or older, the American Diabetes Association recommends you get screened for pre-diabetes. If more people are diagnosed with pre-diabetes and make lifestyle changes, it’s likely that heart attacks, strokes and diabetes can all be significantly reduced. So what are you waiting for?

Contact the American Diabetes Association.

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0 thoughts on “Simply Health: Pre-diabetes can be a gift”

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