December 28, 2007, Newsletter Issue #134: Pre-Diabetes - When Does it Become Diabetes?

Tip of the Week

Pre-Diabetes is also called "impaired glucose tolerance," and is diagnosed when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal (> 120 mg/dl), but not high enough to be called diabetes (> 160mg/dl).

Pre-diabetes is almost always present in someone before they develop Type II diabetes - non-insulin-dependent diabetes - however they may not realize they have pre-diabetes until they develop a noticeable symptom or complication.

One of the most common symptoms of pre-diabetes is tingling, numbness or burning in the hands or feet. Other symptoms are the same as diabetes, including: 1) frequent urination, 2) excessive thirst, 3) excessive hunger, and 4) sudden weight loss

Risk factors for the development of pre-diabetes are also the same as for diabetes:

* obesity
* sedentary lifestyle
* elevated cholesterol
* family history

Even diet has been identified as a factor, especially for persons who eat a lot of high fat or high protein foods, though research is continuing in this area.

The best way to treat pre-diabetes and decrease the risk that it will become full blown diabetes, is to:

* lose weight - even a 7% weight loss can make a big difference
* get your cholesterol under control -decrease the fat in your diet and
increase whole grains, fruits and vegetables
* control your blood pressure - lose weight, decrease your salt intake and
take medications prescribed by your doctor
* exercise - start slow and work up to 30 minutes five day each week

Diabetes is not completely preventable, however if you have pre-diabetes, you can decrease your risk of diabetes and the associated complications, by taking charge of your lifestyle, for a healthier you.

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