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Prevent, delay diabetes with lifestyle changes

Routine visits to your health care provider can help you to identify risks, lead to early diagnosis and aid in preventing a number of chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease defined as the body’s inability to produce or effectively use insulin to properly change glucose into energy. Diabetes is a major cause of health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, sexual dys-function, periodontal disease and amputations.
Preventive health practices can help to lower your risk. Ask your primary care provider to test you for diabetes. A common test is the fasting blood glucose and a newer way to diagnose diabetes is the A1C test. If you have an A1C greater than or equal to 6.5, you have diabetes. If your A1C is 5.6 to 6.4, you have prediabetes.
Fasting blood glucose results:
  • 100 mg/dl or below means that you do not have diabetes and should work to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Results of 100-125 mg/dl are considered pre-diabetes. This does not mean that you have diabetes or that you will necessarily develop diabetes. At this point you can take the steps to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
  • Results 126 mg/dl or higher are diagnosed as diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes preven-tion or delayed onset may be achieved through:
  • Visiting your primary care provider regularly, and asking how you can live a healthier life and prevent diabetes.
  • Engaging in at least 30 minutes of regular physical exercise on most days.
  • Losing weight if overweight (even small reductions, such as 10 pounds can decrease your risk).
  • Eating a healthy diet high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, while avoiding fried foods, fatty meats, salt and sugar (eating sugar does not cause diabetes).

Online March 19, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.