According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 84 million people (about one third of Americans) have prediabetes – and they don’t even know it.
Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are genetics and lifestyle, including carrying excess weight and lack of exercise.
Ninety percent of the individuals who have prediabetes are unaware that they have a higher than normal blood sugar.Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are metabolic disorders that occur due to the inability of the body to make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels in a normal range. Prediabetes occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal (in the range of 100-125 mg/dl) but not yet high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when blood glucose levels are >126 mg/dl.
In the future, there may be a blood test that alerts us to a potential health hazard. Researchers found that a test called lipoprotein insulin resistance (LPIR) could predict which women would likely develop diabetes. They also found the Fat-Mass-and Obesity-Associate (FTO) gene expressed in insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas and fat cells that is associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Until then, individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes need to make it a priority to reduce their blood glucose to normal levels in order to avoid complications.
Symptoms of high blood glucose include:
-Feeling very thirsty or hungry
-Bruises that are slow to heal
What you can do:
-Have a comprehensive medical evaluation annually.
-Lose 5-7 percent of body weight if you are overweight or obese.
-Exercise at a moderate intensity for 150 minutes or more/week with additional-resistance training.
-Have a dilated eye exam annually.
-Visit with a Registered Dietitian for an individualized meal plan.
-Have a comprehensive dental exam.
-See a mental health professional, if needed.
-Avoid tobacco products.
According to the American Diabetes Association…
The number one recommendation by the American Association of Endocrinologists for managing type 2 diabetes is lifestyle therapy, including medically-supervised weight loss such as the 20/20 LifeStyles program.
Studies show that exercise, an individualized healthy meal plan, and weight loss are extremely effective in preventing or delaying diabetes in people at high risk. There’s strong evidence that modest and persistent weight loss can delay the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes when glycemic, blood pressure, and lipid goals are addressed.
Weight loss following an individualized meal plan lowers your risk of diabetes because body fat produces molecules that trigger inflammation which is an important link between obesity, elevated blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes. According to Dr. Allison Goldfine at the Joslin Research Center, inflammation is not only associated with obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, but also precedes and predicts these conditions.
Years of poorly controlled diabetes can have a devastating effect on the cardiovascular system, kidneys, and brain, which may harm thinking and memory, leading to dementia. Red meats, added sugar, sugar-sweetened drinks, saturated fats, and trans fats are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Vegetables, legumes, fruit, dairy, and whole grains are the healthiest choice.
If you or a family member have any concerns about type 2 diabetes, schedule an appointment with Lynne Williams, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, for an individualized consultation or attend a free 20/20 LifeStyles introductory seminar. Visit 2020lifestyles.com or call 877.559.2020 to register.
The 20/20 LifeStyles program has a 73% success rate in reversing type 2 diabetes.
It offers a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive medical and support team approach that exceeds the NIH guidelines for caring for people with, or at risk for, diabetes.
By Lynne Williams, PhD, RDN, CDE, CD
Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator