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Slowing, or stopping, the pre-diabetes train – Part 2


The second reason your doctor will get serious-talking with you about pre-diabetes is that it can be completely reversible. How many disease states are reversible once the train has left the station? Not many. But this is one, and for many people this can be a lifesaver.{{more}}

A few years ago a research study came out that made everyone very excited. Some of you may have heard of this because it was all over the news: it was called the Diabetes Prevention Program. They enrolled a few thousand people with pre-diabetes and split them into three groups. One group was the “lifestyle” intervention group, meaning they had to decrease the amount of fat and calories in their diets, exercise at least 150 minutes per week, and aim for weight loss of 7% of their current weight(for the average person weighing about 150 pounds, this means loss of around 10 pounds). They had dietary counseling to assist. The second group was also told to exercise and change their diets (they did not have counseling though) and placed on a diabetes medication called Metformin (Glucophage). For those of you interested, this medication is the most widely prescribed diabetes medication, and is also based on a plant used in the old days (interesting, eh? I thought so). The last group was not told anything, and not given any medications-so they went about their regular business.

Research found (drum roll please): The group with lifestyle changes decreased their chances of becoming diabetic by almost 60%. Remember, all they had to do was decrease their weight by 7% with exercise and diet changes. This cut their risk by more than half! The group on medication also did very well, with their risk dropping by 31%. The group that went on their merry way without changing anything of course had no benefits.

So my lesson to you is clear: with some changes in your life and diet, you can change the course of your health very dramatically. Not drastic; maybe walk an extra 25 minutes a day, have an orange instead of sweet bread at lunch, and water instead of juice at dinner. Use less oil to fry your plantain. I am not asking you to have lettuce and water all day.

It is not 100% guaranteed, but all the odds are vastly in your favor that you will benefit. It is like a scratch card sitting on the table waiting for you to win the lottery. So ask your doctor to test you for pre-diabetes, and if you have it, start working on it. No more excuses—You can do this!

Anita Ramsetty, MD
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227