PRE-DIABETES: Are You At Risk?

August 2, 2006

asd.jpg Just finished my 6 day talk about diabetes and prediabetes with MOM’s Radio at FM 88.3 today.  It’s an innovative radio station and I always listen to it every morning while driving to the office and going back to the house. It presents insights of healthy lifestyle, and other health issues which are very informative to the listeners. In fact it should be called: Moms and Dads Radio.

What struck me during the interview was the need to really further educate the public on a state that leads to a disease and one of which we call Prediabetes.  This is still a state where we can do something to prevent the onset of the disease and therefore prevent the onset of complications especially heart disease.

It is alarming to note that The American Pediatric Society has released a survey that 1 out of 10 male children between ages 12 to 19 already have the state called prediabetes.  Again emphasizing the need to be more vigilant in watching over our kids while they grow… in terms of what they do and what we feed them!!!

Who then are at risk to develop Prediabetes?

1. Obese individuals– if your Body Mass Index if > 23 then you are already overweight. Your weight in lbs divided by your height in inches x your height in inches again.

2. Family History of Diabetes.  If one of your parents has Type 2 Diabetes, the offspring has a 10% chance of becoming a diabetic.

3. Sedentary Lifestyle– this results in obesity where the fat cells make your body insulin resistant and therefore will overwork your pancreas to produce more insulin until it fails to produce more.

4. Age: if your more than 45 years old- the older one becomes the higher the risk thus yearly evaluation should be done.

5. High Birth Weight– if you gave birth to a baby more than 9 lbs- most likely you had Gestational Diabetes which can increase your risk to become a diabetic in the next 10 years.

6. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol– have your blood glucose checked because you may have the so called Metabolic Syndrome.

Remember…We now have a way to prevent diabetes if you are diagnosed early enough for us to intervene. Lifestyle changes with 7 to 10% weight loss and exercise of 150 min per week were able to prevent the progression of diabetes by almost 50%.  We also now have drugs that are effective in preventing the onset of diabetes.

Again… Be more Proactive…

Early Diagnosis Means Better Health!

21 Responses to “PRE-DIABETES: Are You At Risk?”

  1. Maxim Says:

    Thanks for tackling this issue Doctor. I am happy indeed that I am part in the campaign to prevent the onset of diabetes. My work involves convincing medical practitioners to take a look at this angle of management and what are the options available.

  2. Richelle Says:

    can night shift cause hormonal imbalance? I am 32 and is getting married next year. I have seen an endocrinologist 5 years ago and have been diagnosed with hyperinsulinism. I was not able to sustain my appointments and eventually stopped my medication as I trasferred to a call center which is usually on the night shift. Iam suspecting that I may have hormonal imbalance and I want to correct it as I have read that these imbalances can also highly affect the reporductive capabilities. Furthermore, my 1st degree aunt has diabetes and my mom’s sugar shoots up every now and then. Can this still be corrected? Thanks.

  3. Doc Gerry Says:

    You’re at risk because of the family history. Working night shift may have some changes in the body’s system but eventually will correct once your body adopts to that environment. Similar recommendations go to you as with every other individual working normal hours interms of reducing ones risk to develop diabetes… that is lifestyle measures to include proper dietary management and weight control coupled with physical activity. The most important is for you to be more active to help your tissues become more sensitive to insulin so as not to overwork your pancreas. read my posts on these matters for your guidance.

  4. Boyd Says:

    I am so scared of getting type 2. I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes 2 years ago. I lost 60 lbs and quit drinking. All was fine. Now I have gained back about 30 of those pounds and drink again. I know better than to drink too much. I have been testing my blood glucose with my late mothers Accu-Chek Complete. after fasting it has read around 117 until today when it read 127!!! That is the diabetes range! I will try to walk more, get my weight down, but I need to know how alchohol effects this situation. I have read were it may lower my risk of diabetes and lower my blood glucose. Does it do the opposite if I drink several drinks during the evening?

  5. Doc Gerry Says:

    You’re on the rigth track… trying to lose weight and be more active are the two best ways to lower down your blood sugar. If you follow a strict regimen of daily execise and proper nutrition, you have at most a more than 30% chance of reverting back to normal or prediabetic range.

    Alcohol also has some sugar and contributes to calories. It’s basically the total amount of calorie intake than can result in worsening of blood sugar level. Some studies have shown that moderate drinking like 2 bottles of beer can reduce ones risk to develop diabetes by 40%. But in general once one starts drinking alcohol… it can result to heavy drinking which can result in permanent damage to the pancreas and can lead to full blown diabetes.

  6. Angel HR Says:

    I’m very much happy to read your page. it is very much interesting and useful. Even I was not knowing about the reasons for diabetes.
    It will definitely scare the readers. But however it is a fact. I come across with a site.
    If you come to know that you have diabetes, you will immediately be alarmed to take some precautions. Or else you may struggle hard to control it. Before you call the doctor for a potentially harmful prescription, move on over to herbal medicines. This gives the information about the herbal products

  7. Bill Says:

    I am 60 and am just over the line into prediabetes ( 144 on Glucose tolerance test, normal fasting glucose and normal HB1) I already walk 4 miles, five days a week. I also lift weights. I am not much overweight. (175 lbs, 5’9′ with substantial muscle) I had bypass sugery four years ago and my blood pressure and cholesterol are all controlled and at target levels. I was eating way to many carbs and sugar. I have changed my diet to be low fat, low salt, low sugar and lower carbs. I am seeing an endocrinolgist this week. What else can I do? I am very stressed out over this. I do not have diabetes in my family.

  8. Doc Gerry Says:

    Bill you’re okay.. youre doing right by changing your lifestyle. In fact that’s the best remedy for prediabetes because it can reduce your risk to become diabetic by 58% better than taking a drug called metformin. Likewise… you have a 30% chance of reverting to normal and another 30% chance of remaining prediabetic without progressing to become a diabetic provided you continue with the right diet and exercise.

  9. Bill Says:

    Thanks, Doc Gerrry, for the encouragment. On my lower carb diet I have gone from 175 pounds to 168 pounds. I am quite muscular. Since my HBA1 and fasting glucose are normal, how can I do better on a glucose tolerance test? Am I “resting” my pancreas with my new diet? Would you suggest taking any supplements? Thanks for your support. I will be seeing an endocrinologist this week.

  10. Doc Gerry Says:

    Bill…. there is a high interindividual variabilty with the OGTT test. You dont need a repeat test becuase a normal repeat OGTT does not mean anything. What is important you are aware of the risk fo your obesity and lifestyle and having changed all that helps your pancreas.

    Bill I want to emphasize the right kind of carb and right amount and calories rather than low carb! Dont make yourself feel hungry…eat small frequent meals to avoid overloading your pancreas. Make sure you eat breakfast!

    Good Luck to a better life ahead!

    By the way… check my website and am not a fan of supplements!

  11. Bill Says:

    Thanks, Doc Gerry. I am trying to follow a balanced diet with four meals a day right now. I have not eliminated carbs but I have cut down as I was eating a very carb loaded diet. I was also binging on sugary treats. All that has changed. Can I eat a lot of fruit? I have read the low sugar fruits (e.g. blueberries, cherries, apples, etc) are better than the higher sugar ones like bananas. I eat a breakfast of oatmeal, blueberries, flax, psyllium and a small no fat yogurt. Is that good? I eat whole wheat diet bread, two slices a day. I eat mainly fish and chicken with red meat once a week. I sanck on hummous, some peanut butter and almonds. Your site is great and so helpful. There are a lot of dangerous sites on the internet promising instant cures. Thank you for doing what you do!

  12. Doc Gerry Says:

    Fruits are fine but too much is not since they contain fructose. But choose the fruits with low glycemic index meaning lesser increase in blood sugar like apples, pears and less of those with high glycemic index like banana and pineapple. Definitely high fiber diet is what we recommend because they slow down the rapid rise in glucose like oatmenal and psyllium… in short you’re doing great with your lifestyle change…keep it up!

  13. Bill Says:

    Hi Doc Gerry.

    I saw an endocrinologist here in Toronto and she concurred with everything you said. One thing I don’t understand: She has enrolled me in a diabetes prevention program and will have more blood work done in about five months. I noticed that she ordered many tests but one of them was NOT a glucose tolerance test. You had mentioned earlier that I would not need a repeat of this test. How will I know if I have reverted to normal if I don’t have this test? I should have asked her but she was VERY busy and there wasn’t much time. I sure would appreciate your advice about this. Thanks! Bill

  14. Doc Gerry Says:

    Bill… you can have a repeat Fasting blood sugar test in 6 months and you may elect to repeat a 75 gm OGTT if you wish to check if your 2 hour post prandial blood glucose is back to normal.

    The point here is… as long as you’re A1c is normal to below 6.5%, you should do well. Checking your post prandial occasionally using your home glucose monitoring machine should be sufficient rather than subject yourself to an OGTT again. Get a sugar reading 2 hours after your regular lunch time meal. You an discuss this plan with your physician.

    I hope this clarifies the issue. Good luck and God bless.

  15. Rassal Says:

    Hi Doc Garry,

    I have read your article and its quite useful. Here I have doubt, I am diagnosed hyperglycemia three years back and since then I am under oral medication (piogletzone). Now I have got new job which is a nightshift (5.30pm-2.30am). I would like to will this change affect my blood sugar level? Suppose if I can compansate my sleep hours in day time.

  16. Rassal Says:

    Hi Doc Garry,

    I have read your article and its quite useful. Here I have doubt, I am diagnosed hyperglycemia three years back and since then I am under oral medication (piogletzone). Now I have got new job which is a nightshift (5.30pm-2.30am). I would like to will this change affect my blood sugar level? Suppose if I can compansate my sleep hours in day time. Thanks… Rassal

  17. Doc Gerry Says:

    Its the change in time frame that can put your body into a stress situation that can affect your blood sugar. PLUS… the timing of food intake changes a lot. That time of work for you is supposed to be the time for the body to rest and rejuvenate. Daytime sleep cant replace the way we sleep at night.

  18. Bharath Says:

    Hello Doctor,

    I ahve been drinking for quite sometime (Over a year) now daily.
    I take about 180 ml of whisky with soda.

    My RBS as checked last week is 162.

    Should i quit drinking to lower by RBS??

    Please answer


  19. Doc Gerry Says:

    Definitely….. please do! Remember, one feature of metabolic syndrome is the development of fatty liver. Alcohol can worsen this liver problem associated with high sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure

  20. Afzal Rashid Says:

    A very useful website. Please add me to your mailing list.



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