|Positive lifestyle change may reduce risk for
By REACH Team
Prediabetes is a term that cautions people with higher than normal
blood glucose levels to take positive steps to improve their health.
The American Diabetes Association defines prediabetes as a “higher than
normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with
diabetes.” Taking steps to improve your health can prevent or delay
type 2 diabetes.
Risk factors for prediabetes and diabetes—other than being
overweight or obese or age 45 or older—include:
- Being physically
- Having a parent,
brother, or sister with diabetes
- Having a family
background that is African American, Alaska Native, American Indian,
Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
- Giving birth to a
baby weighing more than 9 pounds or being diagnosed with gestational
diabetes—diabetes first found during pregnancy
- Having high blood
pressure—140/90 mmHg or above—or being treated for high blood pressure
- Having HDL, or
“good,” cholesterol below 35 mg/dL, or a triglyceride level above 250
- Having polycystic
ovary syndrome, also called PCOS
Even if you have
some of the risk factors for diabetes, following a few steps could
lower your risk for developing diabetes. If you are overweight or
obese, losing just 5 to 7 percent of body weight can have the greatest
impact on reducing your risks of developing diabetes. This can be
accomplished by getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical
activity five to six days a week and eating healthier.
- Having impaired
fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) on previous
- Having other
conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as severe obesity
or a condition called acanthosis nigricans, characterized by a dark,
velvety rash around the neck or armpits
- Having a history
of cardiovascular disease If there are no risk factors as listed above,
testing should begin at 45 years old and if normal, then repeated every
The following can significantly reduce your body weight: Substituting
whole grains for white rice and white breads; eating more vegetables
and raw fruits; reducing the amount of sugar; and reducing high sugar
and high fat foods while monitoring your calorie intake. The key
to eating healthy is portion control—small portions—2 to 3 ounces of
lean meat about the size of a deck of cards, ½ cup of cooked vegetables
or whole grains such as brown rice, one slice of bread (without added
fat, and a small piece of fruit such as an apple or orange is
considered one serving). Avoid the super-sized portions.
Visiting a health care provider can help prevent some health problems
and identify health problems early.
Along with preventive screenings during an annual physical, ask your
health provider if you need to have a diabetes test, especially if you
have any of the risks or key indicators listed above. Then review the
results of your test with your health care provider. Here is how the
health care provider interprets your tests:
- A fasting plasma
glucose test: 100 to 125 mg/dl indicates prediabetes and 126 mg/dl or
more indicates diabetes.
- An oral glucose
tolerance test plasma glucose value between 140 to 199 mg/dl (7.78 -
11.06 mg/dl) at two hours: 140-199 mg/dl indicates prediabetes and 200
mg/dl or great indicates diabetes.
It is recommended
to have two separate confirmatory tests to adequately diagnose
diabetes. With positive lifestyle changes in diet and exercise, along
with routine visits to your health care provider, type 2 diabetes may
be prevented or delayed.
- An A1C test is
also used to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes: 5.7 - 6.4 percent
indicates prediabetes and 6.5 percent or more indicates diabetes.
For information, call Racial Ethnic Approaches to Community Health
(REACH) US, at 792-5872 or visit http://www.reach.musc.edu.
Friday, Nov. 19, 2010