Islets of Hope for persons with prediabetes
Article by Lahle Wolfe, 03/25/2006. For reprint information e-mail Editor@isletsofhope.com
Confused? See our Chart Comparison between Insulin Resistance, Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS), Prediabetes, Types 1 and 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes detailing the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of these major metabolic disorders.
Lifestyle Changes - Diet, Exercise, Sports, Stress Management
Did You Know?
... that the diabetes drug Glucophage (metformin), a biguanide, reduced the risk of diabetes in those with prediabetes but was less successful than simply losing weight and increasing activity? (NIH DPP Study) See our Lifestyles section to learn how you can improve your health without medication.
... that prediabetes can be reversed without insulin or medication by losing a modest amount of weight and increasing your physical activity?
... that an international expert committee of the American Diabetes Association recently redefined the criteria for prediabetes, lowering the blood sugar level cut-off point for pre-diabetes?
Stopping prediabetes in its tracks: Weight loss and exercise can turn condition around (A resource and information article on pre-diabetes by MSNBC)
Treatment and prognosis for prediabetes (or, pre-diabetes)
IOH Health Tip: Those with prediabetes, who do nothing about it, will most likely develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years of being diagnosed with prediabetes. But by making healthy changes in your lifestyle now you can reduce this risk significantly, and may even be able to completely reverse prediabetes by "retraining" your body how to properly use its own insulin.
Treatment for prediabetes and insulin resistance
Prediabetes and insulin resistance are both initially treated through lifestyle changes: weight loss, exercise, and quitting smoking if you smoke. Persons with prediabetes may benefit from a diet low in fats and processed carbohydrates, or from following a low glycemic diet.
Sometimes oral medications are prescribed for insulin sensitization, however, studies show that weight loss and exercise are more effective at stopping and reversing prediabetes than oral medications. Even if you are prescribed medication it is still important that you control your weight, exercise, and eat healthy foods.
Can prediabetes and insulin resistance be reversed? Yes!
Prediabetes is not diabetes. And yes, it can often be reversed if you take prediabetes seriously, and make lifestyle modifications as recommended by your doctor. Major studies have shown that changes in lifestyle, and the oral insulin sensitizing drug Glucophage, can not only reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but many persons with prediabetes can restore blood glucose to normal ranges when the body can be "retrained" to use its own insulin properly again.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a 3-year study called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and published encouraging results in February 2002. The study, using persons from 27 clinical centers throughout the U.S., focused on patients with prediabetes who were at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and the effects of weight loss, exercise, behavior modification, and the medication Glucophage (metformin). The study separated patients into three groups: (1) Lifestyle Intervention (those that exercised, learned healthier eating habits and behavior modification), (2) those who only took Glucophage, and (3) the placebo group.
The study results showed that lifestyle changes (the Lifestyle Intervention group) could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% in the group that received intensive nutritional education, exercised 150 minutes per week, and lost weight. Those age 60 and over in this group reduced their risk by an impressive by 71%!
Participants that made no lifestyle changes but took Glucophage (metformin) reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 31%. This DPP study also showed that:
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Page Updated 09/01/2006