Lowering the risk of diabetes


By Lethia Lee - Contributing columnist



By Lethia Lee

Contributing columnist

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What are the stages of Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases and happens when the body is unable to effectively use insulin to move glucose from the blood and into its cells. People are at higher risk of diabetes when they are age 45 or older, dealing with impaired glucose tolerance, obese, physically inactive, and/or related to other people with diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people can delay and possibly prevent the disease by losing a small amount of weight (5 to 7 percent of total body weight) through 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week and by healthier eating.

Some of you might be asking what about prediabetes? Prediabetes happens when someone has elevated blood sugar, but it’s not quite high enough to be considered diabetes. The transition from prediabetes is not a foregone conclusion. The CDC maintains progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable. Studies suggest that weight loss and increased physical activity among people with prediabetes prevent or delay diabetes and may return blood glucose levels to normal.

The national Diabetes Information Clearinghouse supports this assertion, explaining that people with prediabetes have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and could sharply lower their risk by losing weight through regular physical activity and a diet low in fat and calories.

So what are the actual test results that indicate whether a person has prediabetes? The NCIC has laid them all out, explaining that a person with prediabetes would have an ALC level of 5.7 to 6.4 percent, a fasting plasma glucose test result of 100-125 mg/dl, called impaired fasting glucose, or a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test result of 140-199, called impaired glucose tolerance.

Prediabetes not only increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but it also increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Yet progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable. Studies suggest that weight loss and increased physical activity among people with prediabetes prevent or delay diabetes and may return blood glucose levels to normal. In fact, it appears as though regular exercise actually helps the insulin in your body work better.

Yet, there is a ray of hope. Just like with prediabetes, healthful choices, and here comes those two words again, “physical activity” can help people with type 2 diabetes reduce their risk of complications. It can also help people prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place. Now that you have this information, what are you going to do with it? I explained some ways you can prevent and control this deadly disease, so let’s get moving.

Information source is from Food and Health Communications, Inc. – www.foodandhealth.com.

For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP Assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.

For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP Assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.

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