Friday, 16 April 2010

Important to Manage Blood Glucose

Important to Manage Blood Glucose When You Have Pre-diabetes

Fifty-seven million Americans older than age 20 have pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diabetes.

Before people develop type 2 diabetes — one of the most costly and serious chronic diseases of our time, the frequency of which is increasing in epidemic proportions — they almost always have pre-diabetes.

Research suggests that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring in people with pre-diabetes.

The good news is studies also show that if you take action to manage your blood glucose when you have pre-diabetes, you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes from developing, as well as health complications from the disease such as damage to and failure of the eyes, nerves and kidneys.

In the Diabetes Prevention Program, a large study of people at risk for diabetes, lifestyle interventions reduced the development of diabetes by 58 percent over three years.

Modifications included eating a low-fat diet, limiting the intake of refined sugars and starches, upping the intake of fruits and vegetables, exercising for 30 minutes most days of the week and losing 5 percent to 10 percent of body weight. For some people with pre-diabetes, intervening early may even return elevated blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Left untreated, most cases of pre-diabetes will progress to type 2 diabetes, which begins when the body develops resistance to insulin and can no longer use it properly. Eventually, the body can no longer produce sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar.

Experts recommend that people 45 and older have a fasting blood sugar test every three years. Those with additional risk factors should be screened yearly.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes are advanced age; being overweight or obese; having a first-degree relative with the disease; being of Latin American, Native American or African-American descent; living a sedentary life; having high blood pressure or high triglycerides; and having a history of gestational diabetes, polycystic disease or circulatory disease.

The Adult Diabetes Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital diagnoses and treats patients with diabetes and is recognized by The American Diabetes Association for meeting the national standard for diabetes self-management education.

A highly trained team of certified diabetes educators, consisting of advanced practice nurses, registered nurses and dietitians, works with patients' primary physicians or endocrinologists and helps patients plan meals, monitor blood glucose levels, self-administer medications, prevent complications, implement healthy habits and initiate and manage treatment on insulin pump therapy.

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