Address Pre-Diabetes Pronto
We talk periodically about pre-diabetes, a disease that affects more than 96 million individuals in the U.S. It is important to raise awareness of the health consequences of pre-diabetes so that action can be taken to reverse it. Study results presented at the Endocrine Society annual meeting remind us that pre-diabetes needs to be diagnosed as early as possible because there are big health issues that can arise, even before it moves into type 2 diabetes.
Data from this study:
- Researchers looked at 1,794,149 hospitalizations at teaching hospitals
- Patients were in the hospital because of primary or secondary diagnosis of an acute MI (myocardial infarction) or heart attack
- The data was collected from 2016-2018
- 330,814 of those patients had pre-diabetes
Researchers found that pre-diabetes was an independent risk factor for having a heart attack or having coronary artery bypass grafting. Pre-diabetes is stressful on the coronary arteries.
These are the American Diabetes Association screening guidelines for pre-diabetes:
- In everyone over the age 35 or earlier if indicated
- People with HIV
- Women with history of gestational diabetes
- Adults with overweight or obesity
It is important to screen for pre-diabetes and have early-as-possible intervention to reverse and prevent cardiovascular health issues such as an MI. It seems that having pre-diabetes impacts the vascular system causing inflammation and plaque build-up.
A reminder, normal fasting glucose reading is 99 or less. Pre-diabetes is a fasting glucose 100-125 or an AlC of 5.7-6.4. AlC is a reflection of the average of blood glucose over the past three months.
If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, take it seriously. Make lifestyle changes to get the glucose back to normal range and then keep it there.
- Diet: carbohydrate foods distributed evenly between three meals; high fiber foods at each meal to slow the glucose rise after the meal; drink sugar-free, carbohydrate-free beverages only.
- Exercise: modest daily exercise, such as a 30-minute walk. You have pre-diabetes daily so be sure to include the exercise daily.
- Keep up with health care appointments so that you will know how your glucose is reacting to those lifestyle changes.
More information on diabetes is found at the American Diabetes Association website: www.diabetes.org.
About the Author
Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.