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Type 2 Diabetes Is Preventable

You can find out more about preventing diabetes, or managing it if you have it, at WebMD's Diabetes chat board moderated by Gloria Yee, RN, CDE. continued...

On annual visits, if the doctor discovered that cholesterol level or blood pressure was high, the patient was advised to contact his or her doctor for treatment and follow-up.

At the study's end, researchers found that the incidence of diabetes was 58% lower in the intervention group than the comparison group. Among men the incidence was 63% lower; among women it was 54% lower. Those in the intervention group had made many more lifestyle changes than the others, and changes in weight, waist circumference, plasma glucose levels, serum insulin, serum lipids, and blood pressure were all significantly better in the intervention group.

The people in this study were counseled to do endurance exercises, to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength. But merely becoming more active -- whether through "sports, household work, gardening, or work-related physical activity -- is similarly beneficial in preventing diabetes," Tuomilehto writes.

Even losing a small amount of weight made a difference, says Tuomilehto. "The effect of the intervention ... was most pronounced among subjects who made comprehensive changes in lifestyle." While the amount of weight lost was not large, those who lost at least 5% of their initial weight did not develop diabetes.

The message is clear, Sanders tells WebMD. "Being overweight -- and especially the presence of intra-abdominal fat -- is a very significant risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes. But lifestyle modification does make a difference ... individuals can benefit from weight loss, dietary modification, and exercise."

Often though, lifestyle changes are easier to plan than to do. This begs the question; will these methods work outside of a study? Tataranni writes the researchers believe they will, whether the people are Finnish or American. "Their optimism may be justified by the low dropout rate in their study -- less than 9% in the intervention group and less than 7% in the [comparison] group," he writes.

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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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