3 things that prevent type 2 diabetes effectively

In a recent study, researchers found that lifestyle interventions, medication, and surgery for patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes are proven to delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes.

However, these interventions have limited access to the majority of patients because of expensive treatments.

This is fueling rising rates of the disease.

Currently, one in three American adults has pre-diabetes and more than 70% of adults are overweight or obese.

According to NIH, prediabetes means the blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

The health condition often occurs in people who already have some insulin resistance or whose beta cells in the pancreas aren’t making enough insulin to keep blood glucose in the normal range.

Without enough insulin, extra glucose stays in the bloodstream rather than entering cells. Over time, people could develop type 2 diabetes.

Evidence shows lifestyle interventions, medication or surgery could result in weight loss.

They could effectively prevent or delays the onset of Type 2 diabetes for as many as 70% of patients with pre-diabetes.

It is known that it’s much more cost effective to prevent disease than to treat it, particularly when it comes to diabetes.

The short-term focus on immediate costs means patients are missing out on the opportunity to keep their disease from progressing.

It’s a false economy and if nothing changes, a third of Americans are expected to have diabetes by 2050.

Evidence-based interventions

Common lifestyle interventions focus on nutrition and increasing physical activity to promote weight loss.

Most prioritize offering a supportive group environment to help participants achieve their goals, typically a mean losing 7% of body weight.

In a 3,200 participant study, lifestyle intervention reduced the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 58% in patients with pre-diabetes.

A 10-year follow up reported a 34% decrease in the incidence of diabetes for the original study participants.

The results and projected cost savings were so impressive that the Diabetes Prevention Program is now a mandated benefit for people with pre-diabetes who have Medicare.

The prescription medication metformin and other drug interventions were somewhat less effective than lifestyle changes.

But they also resulted in preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes.

Metabolic, or weight-loss, surgery was more effective than lifestyle interventions at preventing diabetes onset and had longer lasting benefits, with a relative risk reduction of 78%.

The researchers suggest that weight loss is a central treatment target for most chronic diseases because the benefit is spread across numerous conditions.

Scientists have the tools to change the trajectory for millions of patients at risk for diabetes. Using them wisely will save not only money but lives, in the long run.

Researcher Jay Shubrook, DO, who specializes in the treatment of diabetes, is one study author.

The study is published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

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