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Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Can drugs prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes? One class of drugs shows promise, but it has its drawbacks.

Who Needs TZDs?

Given the possible benefits of TZDs, you may wonder whether you should be using them yourself. They aren't appropriate in all cases, and many of their benefits need to be confirmed.

For instance, despite the promise of the TRIPOD study, TZDs are not recommended for the treatment of pre-diabetes. "I get asked a lot whether you should treat everybody with insulin-resistance syndrome with a TZD," says Buchanan, "and the answer is no." Buchanan notes that insulin resistance is really marked by a cluster of things, and treatment should be based on what symptoms an individual has.

It is also crucial to know that other studies, such as the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), have demonstrated the effectiveness of behavioral interventions -- such as regular exercise and weight loss -- in slowing or preventing the progress of pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes. Depending on your case, changes in your diet and an increase in exercise may be the best medicine.

For the time being, doctors are generally advised to use TZDs cautiously because of their potential risks. But the beneficial effects of TZDs point to a possible future in the treatment of diabetes.

"I think that if nothing else, TRIPOD showed that by focusing on the relieving the stress on beta cells, we can slow the progress of IGT and type 2 diabetes," Buchanan says. "We can stabilize the process."

Reviewed on June 18, 2004

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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