Diabetes Prevention Program
Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes continued...
Most people with type 2 diabetes have two problems: The pancreas may produce too much insulin that your body cannot efficiently use. Later in the disease, the pancreas may not produce enough insulin; therefore fat, muscle, and liver cells are deprived of insulin and unable to access the glucose needed to function as the glucose remains in the bloodstream. This means that sugar builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body -- without fulfilling its role as the body's main source of fuel. Both too much insulin and too much glucose in the blood (instead of in the cells where needed), can damage blood vessels and tissues.
About 23.6 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. Ninety-percent to 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This is a lifestyle disease and can be prevented. Diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure, limb amputation, and new-onset blindness in American adults. People with diabetes are also two to four times more likely than people without diabetes to develop heart disease.
Prediabetes, also called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you are also at increased risk for developing heart disease.
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if:
- You are overweight
- You are 45 years old or older
- You have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
- Your family background is African-American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic American/Latino, or Pacific Islander
- You have had gestational diabetes or gave birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- Your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, or you have been told that you have high blood pressure
- Your HDL -- or "good" -- cholesterol is 35 or lower, or your triglyceride level is 250 or higher
- You are fairly inactive, or you exercise fewer than three times a week
It's estimated that 57 million American adults older than age 20 have IFG, suggesting that at least 57 million adults have prediabetes. Those with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they take steps to prevent or delay diabetes. The results of the Diabetes Prevention Program showed that modest weight loss and regular exercise could prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.