Pre-Diabetes: Those individuals with genetic predisposition and the biochemical changes that destine them for diabetes mellitus with all that implies can be rescued. Changes that frequently slow or abort the process before it takes firm control over your life. (this is a very similar term & sometimes used interchangeably with impaired glucose tolerance)
How it happens: According to the American Diabetic Association there are 57 million people in the U.S. with Pre Diabetes. Technically these people have a blood sugar level that is elevated above “Normal” but does not yet meet all the criteria to be diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.
A lot of research confirms that at this stage progression to diabetes is still preventable. In the few that might progress to diabetes despite the best efforts at prevention may well postpone the inevitable for several years. To prevent what we can and postpone those cases that can not be prevented is the goal of the interventions outlined below.
The American Diabetes Association Website which I love and recommend to my patients claims that the Diabetes Prevent Program, a recent clinical study, proves that diabetes can be prevented. I would take exception to that claim based on my own clinical experience. If you carry the appropriate genetic predisposition ( it has been suggested that there as many as 50 different genes that code for different elements of carbohydrate metabolism) you are going to get diabetes if you live into your 70′s. The D.P.P. did not have as long a time frame as I have in my practice & there in lies the difference.
In my practice I have several patients that have taken my advice, done on the necessary research and made the needed lifestyle changes to postpone diabetes for you. Even of the patients that take my advice and lose weight, become more active and modify their diet according to my plan, they still develop diabetes 10 – 15 years down the road. On the bright side their diabetes is very mild & well controlled and the complications that devastate most diabetes are postponed or even avoided! The D.P.P. did confirm what most of us saw in clinical practice. It showed that people with Pre-diabetes can prevent or postpone the development of true diabetes by making changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. Proper attention to detail even brings their blood sugar to normal for some patients.
Diabetes represents a perfect educational program because every person can learn from the appropriate diabetic lifestyle. For advice on diet please see the nutrition section & for advise on increasing physical activity please refer to the exercise section.