August 01, 2012

Preventing type 2 diabetes

Stop prediabetes in its tracks

Preventing type 2 diabetes

It's estimated that up to 1 in 4 Americans has developed or has been diagnosed with prediabetes (insulin resistance). Many more are at risk. Having insulin resistance means that your blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance usually causes no symptoms, but can lead to worsening of cholesterol levels and high blood pressure — and it increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Moreover, once you develop prediabetes, research indicates that within 10 years, you're likely to go on to develop type 2 diabetes. That is, unless you do something about it.

Thankfully, you can. By losing around 7 percent of your body weight with improved diet and exercise, it's very likely that you can prevent type 2 diabetes — and maybe even return your glucose levels to normal.

Losing weight may sound like a lot of work, but when you consider the hassle, expense and discomfort of dealing with type 2 diabetes and its many consequences, it's a worthwhile investment for better health and a better life.

Insulin resistance

Every time you eat, your body converts a portion of the digested food into glucose. Your blood carries the glucose to your body's tissues, where the cells use it as fuel.

Glucose enters your cells with the help of insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Insulin acts as a master key, unlocking the doors of your cells and allowing glucose inside.

In people with...