Q: My doctor says that I have pre-diabetes. I know he wants me to get my act together, but all I hear is: “Lose weight! Exercise! Eat right!” How exactly do I do that? – Gwenda F., Des Plaines, Illinois
A: Your doctor has done you a favor by alerting you to your higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. More than one in three North Americans has prediabetes, but only one in 10 even knows it! That’s a shame, because prediabetes increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, as well as sexual dysfunction and cognitive problems. If you go on to develop diabetes, the health complications can be even more severe.
The Community Preventive Services Task Force (www.thecommunityguide.org) just released a new set of diabetes-prevention guidelines recommending programs that include trained providers who work directly with patients. Before these programs become mainstream, here’s how you can set up your own task force for diabetes prevention.
Check out sharecare.com and myclevelandclinic.org for dietary advice (avoid the Five Food Felons), walking programs (10,000 steps a day, no excuses) and emotional support (check out sharecare.com/buddy, or get a coach and find a peer support group).
Set realistic goals. Losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight slashes your risk for Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Dr. Mike’s book “This is Your Do-Over” offers great ways to be successful.
Get support. Every study that shows success depends on building a good team around you. Find diabetes prevention programs in your area. Your American Diabetes Association chapter will be very helpful, and many Y’s offer programs. Check out www.defeatdiabetes.org for peer-support groups in all 50 states. Sign up for a walking program (www.walkertownusa.com lists walking groups in all states).
Besides saving up to $50,000 in health expenses over your lifetime, you’ll save a leg or two, your kidneys, heart and brain!
© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.