How to reverse prediabetes: experts say the key is to change your lifestyle

How to reverse prediabetes: experts say the key is to change your lifestyle

November 14th is United Nations Diabetes Day, and this year’s theme is “Understand the Risks, Understand the Responses.” Early intervention for patients with prediabetes is an important means to reduce the risk of diabetes. There are many diabetic patients in our country. It is estimated that there are nearly 150 million diabetic patients in our country, and as many as 388 million pre-diabetic patients.

“The 2007-2008 national diabetes epidemiological survey showed that among people over 20 years old in China, the prevalence of prediabetes was 15.5%.” Luo Yingying, chief physician of the Department of Endocrinology at Peking University People’s Hospital, was interviewed by a reporter from Science and Technology Daily “The number of patients with prediabetes in China is huge and the prevalence rate is high. However, since prediabetes has almost no symptoms, it is easily ignored,” the report said.

Prediabetes is an intermediate state between diabetes and normoglycemia. The blood sugar level of patients with prediabetes is higher than that of normal people, but does not meet the diagnostic criteria for diabetes, that is, fasting blood sugar is higher than or equal to 6.1 mmol per liter but lower than 7.0 mmol per liter, or blood sugar 2 hours after a meal is higher than or equal to 7.8 mmol per liter. per liter but less than 11.1 mmol per liter. In 2001, diabetes experts proposed the term “prediabetes” to replace the previous impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), aiming to make doctors and the public pay enough attention to slight elevations in blood sugar.

Luo Yingying said that factors such as genetics, overweight or obesity, family history, gestational hyperglycemia, and poor lifestyle can cause abnormal blood sugar metabolism and lead to prediabetes. “The main cause is poor lifestyle.” Prediabetes is a warning sign of diabetes. Luo Yingying said: “The risk of prediabetic people progressing to type 2 diabetes is much higher than that of normal people.”

Fortunately, prediabetes can be reversed. In other words, if blood sugar is well controlled, it can prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes and even hopefully return blood sugar to normal. For example, prediabetes caused by being overweight can be reversed by losing weight.

However, not all prediabetes can be reversed. Luo Yingying told reporters: “Among pre-diabetic patients, about 1/3 may return to normal blood sugar, about 1/3 will progress to diabetes, and about 1/3 will remain in a pre-diabetic state. .”

So, how can people with prediabetes successfully achieve reversal? Luo Yingying emphasized that the key is to change your lifestyle. “For patients with prediabetes, the occurrence of type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through lifestyle interventions such as diet control and exercise,” she said.

my country’s famous “Daqing Study” proves this point. In the 1980s, China began a study on prediabetes intervention. Through a 30-year survey and follow-up of a large sample of people in Daqing Oilfield, the study found that lifestyle intervention for 6 years can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 39% and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 3.96 years.

What is a reasonable lifestyle intervention? Luo Yingying said: “Patients with prediabetes should control the total calories in their diet, increase their intake of vegetables, and reduce their intake of alcohol and simple sugars. Overweight or obese patients should lose weight, and the total amount of salt consumed per day should not exceed 5 grams. ;Aim for at least 20 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every day. In addition, monitor blood sugar regularly.”

In recent years, some studies have suggested that a “two-pronged approach” of lifestyle intervention and effective drug intervention can enhance the effect of intervention and reduce the risk of progression from prediabetes to diabetes. “But before taking medication, you must go to the hospital for evaluation and let the doctor decide whether medication is necessary.” Luo Yingying emphasized, “Lifestyle intervention is the most important means to control the progression of prediabetes.”

For people with prediabetes, early screening is important. “Early screening and early intervention can help achieve reversal.” Luo Yingying said, “High-risk groups with gestational diabetes, overweight or obesity, family history, and history of macrosomia need to be screened regularly. If abnormal blood sugar is found, Intervene as early as possible.”

It should be noted that even if prediabetes patients are successfully reversed, they must maintain healthy living habits and monitor blood sugar regularly. Because prediabetes is not only a risk factor for diabetes, but also a risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia.

“We must pay attention to the detection and intervention of prediabetes. This is an effective measure to reduce the incidence of diabetes and save related medical costs and social resources.” Luo Yingying emphasized.

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