An estimated 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Is this you?
What is Pre-Diabetes?
Pre-diabetes is a condition of elevated blood sugar that is not high enough to be called diabetes. You have pre-diabetes if:
- Your fasting blood sugar is between 100-125 mg/dL, or
- Your A1C reading is between 5.7-6.4 percent, or
- Your 75 gram oral glucose tolerance test reading is between 140-199 mg/dL after two hours
Why is Pre-Diabetes a Problem?
You may think that medical complications only happen to people with diabetes. However, people with pre-diabetes are at increased risk for having:
- heart disease or a stroke
- neuropathy (nerve damage)
- retinopathy (damage to the retina in the eye)
- nephropathy (kidney damage)
Of course, people with pre-diabetes are at increased risk for getting type 2 diabetes!
Are You at Risk?
You are at risk if you:
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Are from an ethnic minority group (Native American, African American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander)
- Have a history of heart disease
- Are overweight, obese or inactive
- Have a history of diabetes of pregnancy or a baby weighing more than nine pounds
- Have high blood pressure (over 140/90), or low HDL cholesterol (40 or lower), or high triglycerides (150 or higher)
The Good News- Diabetes can be Delayed or Prevented!
Landmark research completed in 2002 showed that the onset of diabetes can be delayed and possibly prevented in high-risk people with an intensive 16-week lifestyle (healthy eating and physical activity) intervention. This study was called the “Diabetes Prevention Program”
In this study about 3200 American adults with pre-diabetes were randomly assigned to one of three study intervention groups as follows: lifestyle, diabetes medication, and placebo.
Lifestyle (16 week program)
- Reduced calories, low-fat diet
- 150 minutes of exercise per week (30 minutes of walking 5 days per week)
- Weight loss goal = 7% of body weight
Metformin (Diabetes Drug)
- 850 milligrams 2 times per day
- No intervention
Diabetes Prevention Program Study Results
- Compared to placebo, risk for developing diabetes decreased by 58%
Metformin (Diabetes Drug)
- Compared to placebo, risk for developing diabetes decreased by 31%
What You Can Do Now!
If you are at increased risk or already have pre-diabetes:
- Eat well-balanced, reduced calorie, low-fat meals
- Accumulate at least 30 minutes of physical activity on at least 5 days of the week
- If you are overweight, try to reduce your weight by about 7%
Interested in Taking a Class on Pre-diabetes?
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CDC. National Diabetes Fact Sheet: National estimates and general information on diabetes and pre-diabetes in the United States, 2011.
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Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. New England Journal of Medicine 346: 393-403, 2002.
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Plantiga, L. C., et al. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease in US adults with undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 5: 673–682, 2010.
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