Peo­ple with Pre-di­a­betes Who Drop Sub­stan­tial Weight May Ward Off Type 2 Di­a­betes

Wellness Update - - Contents -

Peo­ple with pre-di­a­betes who lose roughly 10 per­cent of their body weight within six months of di­ag­no­sis dra­mat­i­cally re­duce their risk of de­vel­op­ing type 2 di­a­betes over the next three years, ac­cord­ing to re­sults of re­search led by Johns Hop­kins sci­en­tists. The find­ings, investigators say, of­fer pa­tients and physi­cians a guide to how short­term be­hav­ior change may af­fect long-term health. “We have known for some time that the greater the weight loss, the lower your risk of di­a­betes,” says study leader Nisa Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S., an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in the Di­vi­sion of Gen­eral In­ter­nal Medicine at the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity School of Medicine. “Now we un­der­stand that we can see much of the ben­e­fit of los­ing that weight in those first six months when peo­ple are ad­just­ing to a new way to eat­ing and ex­er­cis­ing. Sub­stan­tial weight loss in the short term clearly should go a long way to­ward pre­vent­ing di­a­betes.” Pre­vent­ing pre-di­a­betes from be­com­ing full-blown di­a­betes is crit­i­cal, Maruthur says. Un­con­trolled di­a­betes — marked by ex­cess su­gar in the blood — can lead to eye, kid­ney and nerve dam­age, as well as car­dio­vas­cu­lar disease. The new re­search sug­gests that if peo­ple with pre-di­a­betes don’t lose enough weight in those first months, physi­cians may want to con­sider more ag­gres­sive treat­ment, such as adding a med­i­ca­tion to push blood su­gar lev­els lower. Pa­tients with pre-di­a­betes have blood su­gar lev­els higher than nor­mal but not yet high enough to be clas­si­fied as type 2 di­a­betes. Al­though not all peo­ple with pre-di­a­betes de­velop full-blown type 2 di­a­betes, with­out in­ter­ven­tion the risk of get­ting it within 10 years is sub­stan­tially in­creased and dam­age to health may al­ready have be­gun. The good news, Maruthur says, is that stud­ies like hers show that the pro­gres­sion from pre­di­a­betes to type 2 di­a­betes is not in­evitable and life­style changes can bring blood su­gar lev­els back to nor­mal.

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