Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pre-Diabetes Needs To Be Treated

Here is a great article in the USA Today about pre-diabetes and preventative treatment. I am pre-diabetic and have a family history of diabetes, so I am a very aware of the escalating problems. I started monitoring my glucose levels 8 weeks ago, and so far I have not had any huge spikes.

Some takeaways from the article. Everything NOT in quotes are my comments:

"We, as endocrinologists, are saying we truly recognize a state of pre-diabetes, and I think the most important issue is that there is not one unifying point that defines it, says Daniel Einhorn, vice president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists."

This is somewhat troubling as it seems the only way to detect this condition is blood monitoring.

"In an early release of the new recommendations, members of the endocrinologist group agreed that diagnosing pre-diabetes should be based on more than the results of blood glucose tests, such as history of diabetes during pregnancy and family history of the disease. The group also decided that changes in ways of living, not medication, should be the first line of treatment in staving off diabetes."

I am happy to hear that changes in diet and lifestyle is the first line of defense instead of medication. That being said, I am on tricor and niaspan for high triglycerides - but I have adjusted my diet.

"The guidelines recommend that people with metabolic syndrome — defined by three or more of the following: elevated triglycerides, a low HDL (the so-called good cholesterol), a high fasting glucose, a big waist circumference and high blood pressure — be considered at high risk for pre-diabetes, as well as women with prior gestational diabetes, people with a family history of type 2 diabetes and obese patients."

Yeah, three for me: HT, Low HDL, and type 2 in family.

"The new guidelines also advise that primary-care physicians and specialists address cardiovascular problems such as blood pressure and lipid levels when diagnosing pre-diabetes. Though there was some debate at the conference over whether medication should be used to treat pre-diabetes, the final consensus is that certain drugs may have a place if diet and exercise do not bring down glucose levels first."

Again, exercise and diet should be the first treatment. So often, medications are prescribed instead of naturally treating the problem. And yes, I am a hypocrite, but my levels were so high, my doctor thought it best that I take medication until my levels drop to "safe" level - which I should accomplish at the end of July - then go off the meds.

With childhood obesity at an all time high (1 in 3 are obese or at risk), and diabetes following suit, something must be done. CT Senator Chris Dodd is proposing a task force and a Childhood Obesity Bill, so hopefully pre-diabetes and diabetes will be addressed.

One service that has helped me with resources and has provided me with a forum to discuss pre-diabetes and ask questions is TuDiabetes, a diabetes social network founded by the Diabetes Hands Foundation. Here is my profile. FD: Diabetes Hands Foundation has been offered to join Intelecare's pro bono Enlighten Together Program like Diabetes Sisters.

Here is a post stating 25 ways to add movement into your day, as most people need to exercise more!

No comments: