Diabetes Prevention & Pre-Diabetes Community
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80 million Americans suffer from pre-diabetes, a condition accompanying patients with blood glucose level above 101 mg/dl but below the diabetes marker of 125 mg/dl. Communicate with other pre-diabetic members on how to prevent diabetes through nutrition management, exercise, and other treatments.

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I Don't Have Diabetes, How Can ...

I Don't Have Diabetes, How Can I Prevent It?

 

Research studies have found that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk of diabetes. Find out more about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, what it means to have prediabetes, and what you can do to prevent or delay diabetes.


 

What is Prediabetes?

 

Progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable.  Studies suggest that weight loss and increased physical activity among people with prediabetes prevent or delay diabetes and may return blood glucose levels to normal.

 

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

 

How Do I Prevent Prediabetes?

 

Find out more about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and what you can do to prevent or delay diabetes. You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting diabetes—you can be stronger than diabetes.

 

Making big changes in your life is hard, especially if you are faced with more than one change. You can make it easier by taking these steps: 

  • Make a plan to change behavior.
  • Decide exactly what you will do and when you will do it.
  • Plan what you need to get ready.
  • Think about what might prevent you from reaching your goals. 
  • Find family and friends who will support and encourage you.
  • Decide how you will reward yourself when you do what you have planned.

Your doctor, a dietitian, or a counselor can help you make a plan. Here are some of the areas you may wish to change to reduce your risk of diabetes.

 

 

Reach and maintain a reasonable body weight

  

Your weight affects your health in many ways. Being overweight can keep your body from making and using insulin properly. It can also cause high blood pressure. Losing even a few pounds can help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes because it helps your body use insulin more effectively. Studies have shown that people who lost between 5 and 7 percent of their body weight significantly reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, losing about 10 pounds would make a difference.

 

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body weight relative to height. You can use BMI to see whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

 

If you are overweight or obese, choose sensible ways to get in shape:

  • Avoid crash diets. Instead, eat less of the foods you usually have. Limit the amount of fat you eat.
  • Increase your physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  • Set a reasonable weight-loss goal, such as losing 1 pound a week. Aim for a long-term goal of losing at least 7 percent of your total body weight.

 

Make wise food choices most of the time

 

What you eat has a big impact on your health. By making wise food choices, you can help control your body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

 

  • Take a hard look at the serving sizes of the foods you eat. Reduce serving sizes of main courses (such as meat), desserts, and foods high in fat. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit your fat intake to about 25 percent of your total calories. For example, if your food choices add up to about 2,000 calories a day, try to eat no more than 56 grams of fat. Your doctor or a dietitian can help you figure out how much fat to have. You can check food labels for fat content too.
  • You may also wish to reduce the number of calories you have each day. Your doctor or dietitian can help you with a meal plan that emphasizes weight loss.
  • Keep a food and exercise log. Write down what you eat, how much you exercise--anything that helps keep you on track.
  • When you meet your goal, reward yourself with a nonfood item or activity, like watching a movie.

 

 

Be physically active every day

 

Regular exercise tackles several risk factors at once. It helps you lose weight, keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and helps your body use insulin effectively. People who were physically active for 30 minutes a day reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes. Many choose a brisk walk for exercise.

If you are not very active, you should start slowly, talking with your doctor first about what kinds of exercise would be safe for you. Make a plan to increase your activity level toward the goal of being active for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

 

Choose activities you enjoy. Here are some ways to work extra activity into your daily routine:

 

  • Take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator.
  • Park at the far end of the lot and walk.
  • Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Walk or bicycle instead of drive whenever you can.
  • Take your prescribed medications

 

 

Some people need medication to help control their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. If

you do, take your medicines as directed. Ask your doctor whether there are any

medicines you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes.

 

Facts about Prediabetes

 

  • People with prediabetes have impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Some people have both IFG and IGT.
  • IFG is a condition in which the fasting blood sugar level is 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) after an overnight fast. This level is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. 
  • IGT is a condition in which the blood sugar level is 140 to 199 mg/dL after a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test. This level is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • In 1988–1994, among U.S. adults aged 40–74 years, 33.8% had IFG, 15.4% had IGT, and 40.1% had prediabetes (IGT or IFG or both). More recent data for IFG, but not IGT, are available and are presented below.
  • In 1999–2000, 7.0% of U.S. adolescents aged 12–19 years had IFG.
  • In 2003–2006, 25.9% of U.S. adults aged 20 years or older had IFG (35.4% of adults aged 60 years or older). Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2007 yields an estimated 57 million American adults aged 20 years or older with IFG, suggesting that at least 57 million American adults had prediabetes in 2007.
  • After adjusting for population age and sex differences, IFG prevalence among U.S. adults aged 20 years or older in 2003–2006 was 21.1% for non-Hispanic blacks, 25.1% for non-Hispanic whites, and 26.1% for Mexican Americans.
  • The Diabetes Prevention Program, a large prevention study of people at high risk for diabetes, showed that lifestyle intervention reduced developing diabetes by 58% during a 3-year period. The reduction was even greater, 71%, among adults aged 60 years or older.
  • Interventions to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in individuals with prediabetes can be feasible and cost-effective. Research has found that lifestyle interventions are more cost-effective than medications.
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