Preventing Type 2

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What can you do to identify your risks?

| Nov 1, 2005

Early recognition and lifestyle interventions are vitally important if we are to make progress in the prevention of type 2 diabetes in people of all ages.

The statistics are disheartening. Of the more than 18 million people in the United States with diabetes, more than 5 million are undiagnosed. This population is already at risk for developing silent complications relating to high blood glucose.

The statistics for metabolic syndrome (a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease) are even worse. According to the American Heart Association (AHA) Web site, statistics compiled during 1988–1994 estimate that about 47 million U.S. residents have metabolic syndrome. Not only are these numbers out of date, the AHA admits that even this information is limited. Additionally, the number of children and teens with metabolic syndrome is rapidly increasing, although the actual numbers are unknown.

What can you do to identify your risks and have a meaningful discussion with your physician about your concerns? Get educated and partner with your doctor. This is especially important since our healthcare system makes it difficult for physicians to spend as much time with patients as they would like, especially when it comes to prevention. And most insurers don’t cover prevention services. For many patients with diabetes, paying “out of pocket” for an individual counseling session with a certified diabetes educator is worth every penny.

Do You Have the Metabolic Syndrome?

Agree or disagree with the following statements to determine if you might have the metabolic syndrome:

1. My waist is greater than 40 inches (men) or 35 inches (women).
Yes No

2. My triglycerides are 150 mg/dl or more.
Yes No

3. My HDL cholesterol is 40 mg/dl or less (men) or 50 mg/dl or less (women).
Yes No

4. My blood pressure is 130/85 or more.
Yes No

5. My fasting blood glucose is 110 mg/dl or more.
Yes No

If you answered “yes” to three or more questions, you may well have the metabolic syndrome.

Since the key to prevention is early identification of people at risk, your answers to the above questions can give your doctor a better picture of how intensively he or she must evaluate you.

Reprinted from “Atkins Diabetes Revolution” (William Morrow, 2004)

How many risk factors for Type 2 diabetes do you have?

I am overweight.
Yes No

I have excess weight around my waist.
Yes No

My diet is high in carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes and pasta.
Yes No

I eat starchy snack foods/sweets every day.
Yes No

I exercise fewer than three hours a week.
Yes No

I am African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American, or Pacific Islander.
Yes No

My mother, father, sister, or brother has/had diabetes.
Yes No

I had gestational diabetes.
Yes No

My blood sugar is high.
Yes No

My blood pressure is high.
Yes No

I have high triglycerides.
Yes No

I am over age 45.
Yes No

Count up your yes answers. The more yes answers you have, the greater the likelihood you will get diabetes—or that you have it already. If you have more than five yes answers, discuss your risk with your doctor as soon as possible.

Reprinted from Atkins Diabetes Revolution, William Morrow, 2004.

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Type 2 Issues

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