Posts Tagged ‘Type 2 diabetes’

REPOST: How to Stop Diabetes From Starting

How can diabetes be prevented or delayed among those who are at high risk? This US.News article has the details.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a shocking statistic a few weeks ago: Eighty-nine percent of the 79 million Americans with pre-diabetes are not even aware they have the condition. In other words, there are 70.3 million Americans over the age of 20 at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes at any moment … and they don’t even know it.

This is troubling for several reasons. For starters, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition associated with a reduced life expectancy; the average 50 year old with diabetes loses an estimated 8 1/2 years of longevity. Prevention, therefore, translates into increased likelihood of a substantially longer life—the end of which is less likely to be spent shuttling to and from doctor’s offices and hospitals. Secondly, there are several established ways to delay—if not entirely prevent—the onset of diabetes in people with prediabetes.

But unless you know you’re at risk, it’s unlikely you’ll stumble upon these preventive measures in time to halt the progression toward full-fledged diabetes. In any given year, about 11 percent of people with prediabetes “graduate” to developing type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition in which your ability to handle blood sugar is impaired, but not so impaired as to qualify for full-blown diabetes. It results from reduced sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which helps carry glucose from the blood into cells where it can be used for energy.

(It’s important to mention that prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are acquired metabolic conditions. Type 2 diabetes represents about 95 percent of diabetes cases nationwide. It differs in both cause and treatment from type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition that generally strikes during childhood and results in destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is not known to be preventable through diet or lifestyle measures.)

Importantly, pre-diabetes is reversible; glucose tolerance can improve when a person’s metabolic state of affairs improves. Here’s how:

• Very moderate exercise. You don’t need to spend hours every day sweating up a storm in a spin class to reap the diabetes-preventing effects of exercise. Heck, you don’t even need to join a gym. Research suggests that 2 1/2 hours per week of even leisurely physical activity—like brisk walking—is enough to significantly improve glucose tolerance. This translates into a 30-minute walk five times per week—though of course, if you’re up to the challenge, more is even better. Exercise works because muscles in action are able to take up glucose from the blood without the help of insulin, so get moving!

• Very modest weight loss. Evidence suggests that it only takes about a 5 to 7 percent weight loss to delay by several years the onset of diabetes among overweight people with prediabetes. To put that in perspective, a 5-foot-4-inch woman with pre-diabetes who weighs 160 pounds would only need to lose about 11 pounds to reduce her risk of developing diabetes. A five-foot-11-inch man weighing 220 pounds would need to lose about 15 pounds to hit this target. In other words, one doesn’t have to drop dramatic, “The Biggest Loser”-scale amounts of weight to help protect against diabetes. In some people, small lifestyle changes like avoiding sweetened beverages or decreasing carb portions may be sufficient to promote this degree of weight loss.

In fact, research has shown that modest weight loss, coupled with 150 minutes of weekly exercise, reduced by 58 percent the risk of developing diabetes in a population of obese adults with prediabetes. Specifically, participants who started off weighing an average of 207 pounds lost about 12 pounds (or 5.7 percent of their body weight). Notably, this outcome was substantially more effective than using an insulin-sensitizing drug called metformin in preventing the onset of diabetes.

• Curcumin supplements. Recent research out of Thailand that was published in Diabetes Care suggested that supplementing curcumin—the active ingredient in the bright yellow, anti-inflammatory spice turmeric—may be protective against diabetes among people with pre-diabetes.

Although it was only a single, small study (237 people), it was well designed and showed a very promising clinical benefit: Of the group randomly assigned to take 500 milligrams of curcumin supplements three times daily, none progressed to develop type 2 diabetes after nine months. By way of comparison, 16 percent of participants in the placebo group did develop type 2 diabetes in the same time period.

Since the research population was homogeneously Asian, it’s not clear whether these results can be extrapolated to a general American population. And since the study was short, it’s unclear whether the protective benefit would have extended past the nine months studied. Nonetheless, given how inexpensive and well-tolerated this natural supplement tends to be, it may be worth talking with your doctor or dietitian to see if curcumin is an appropriate supplement for you to consider.

With 70 million of us counted among the unknowing ranks of adults with pre-diabetes, it’s statistically likely that you or someone you know belongs to this group. Risk factors for pre-diabetes include being overweight or obese; having a family history of diabetes; having a personal history of gestational diabetes in pregnancy; having given birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds; and belonging to one of several ethnic groups, including African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Native American. If you fall into one of these categories, consider making an appointment for a check-up; prediabetes can be assessed with simple blood tests from your primary care doctor.

Knowing your status could make a huge difference in turning the tide against progression to diabetes before it’s too late.

More health tips can be accessed in this Satori World Medical blog site.


REPOST: Weight Loss Programs Could Help Reverse Diabetes, Study Finds

Can weight loss programs reverse the effects of diabetes? Find out more about it from this article by Katherine Harmon, as published in


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Type 2 diabetes has long been thought of as a chronic, irreversible disease. Some 25 million Americans are afflicted with the illness, which is associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, as well as high blood pressure. Recent research demonstrated that gastric bypass surgery–a form of bariatric surgery that reduces the size of the stomach–can lead to at least temporary remission of type 2 diabetes in up to 62 percent of extremely obese adults. But can less drastic measures also help some people fight back the progressive disease?
A new randomized controlled trial found that intensive weight loss programs can also increase the odds that overweight adults with type 2 diabetes will see at least partial remission. The findings were published online December 18 in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association. “The increasing worldwide prevalence of type 2 diabetes, along with its wide-ranging complications, has led to hopes that the disease can be reversed or prevented,” wrote the authors of the new paper, led by Edward Gregg of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study tracked 4,503 overweight adults with type 2 diabetes for four years. About half of the subjects received basic diabetes support and education (including three sessions per year that covered diet, physical activity and support). The other half received more intensive lifestyle-intervention assistance. This second group received weekly individual and group counseling for six months, followed by three-sessions each month for the next six months, and refresher group sessions and individual contact for the subsequent three years. The interventions aimed to help individuals limit daily calories to 1,200 to 1,800–in particular by reducing saturated fat intake–and to help them get the recommended 175 minutes per week of physical activity.

After two years about one in 11 adults in the intervention group experienced at least partial remission of their diabetes, meaning that a patient’s blood sugar levels reverted to below diabetes diagnosis levels without medication. Only about one in 60 in the control group, which received only basic support and education, saw any remission after two years. The findings suggest that “partial remission, defined by a transition to prediabetic or normal glucose levels without drug treatment for a specific period, is an obtainable goal for some patients with type 2 diabetes,” the researchers noted.

The improvement, however, was not indefinite for everyone. After four years, only about one in 30 people in the intervention group were still seeing an improvement in their condition. Researchers think that regaining weight and falling behind on diet and physical activity goals increase the risk that people will return to a diabetic state.

About one in 75 in the intervention group saw complete remission of their diabetes, in which glucose levels returned to normal without medication.

The study did not find, however, that individuals in the lifestyle intervention group had lower risks for heart trouble, stroke or death than did those in the control group. “This recently led the National Institutes of Health to halt the [trial],” noted David Arterburn, of Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, and Patrick O’Connor, of HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research in Minneapolis, in an essay in the same issue of JAMA. Similar results have come out of studies looking at more intensive medical treatment of diabetes. “A more potent intervention–bariatric surgery–already appears to achieve what intensive medical and lifestyle interventions cannot: reducing cardiovascular events and mortality rates among severely obese patients with type 2 diabetes,” they noted.
As with any disease, however, prevention is the best strategy. “The disappointing results of recent trials of intensive lifestyle and medical management in patients with existing type 2 diabetes also underscore the need to more aggressively pursue primary prevention of diabetes,” Arterburn and O’Connor noted. One recent study found that compared with no treatment at all, lifestyle interventions reduced the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people with pre-diabetes (and the medication metformin reduced the onset rate by 31 percent). Bariatric surgery seemed to reduce the onset of diabetes in obese patients by 83 percent, Arterburn and O’Connor pointed out in their essay.

For people who already have diabetes, however, those who are still in the early stages and those with the biggest weight loss and/or fitness improvement had the best odds for beating the disease. And even if lifestyle interventions aren’t capable of dialing back the disease entirely, any reduction–whether through lifestyle or other changes-in the need for medication and in medical complications due to diabetes can be considered an improvement in managing the disease, which already costs the U.S. health system $116 billion each year and is estimated to affect 50 million Americans by 2050.

Learn what it takes to have a healthy mind, body, and spirit by visiting this Satori World Medical site.