Your Lowest Diabetes Risk
Dietitians are the expert health professionals who led the dietary programmes for the most successful diabetes prevention and treatment programmes. Lowest diabetes risk means ‘least chance of developing diabetes or the complications of diabetes’ including heart attack and stroke. High blood sugars or Type 2 diabetes are major risk indicators for heart attack or stroke requiring stricter control of blood pressure and cholesterol.
Major diabetes research studies provide clear evidence for you to consider:
- Diabetes is progressive, unless you intervene, no matter when you learn of your risk.
- Several large scale studies show that diet and exercise change with weight loss:-
- reduces the risk of progression to diabetes from pre-diabetes by 58% over 4 years and 34% over 10 years, and reduces heart-risk indicators, all more than metformin*.
- regresses blood sugars to normal levels in more than 29% of participants with pre-diabetes and in 10% of people with type 2 diabetes.
- A large scale weight loss study in people with Type 2 diabetes in the USA found that :-
- weight loss reduced the need for insulin injections and diabetes and blood pressure medications, improved heart-risk and many other health indicators.
- of those who lost 15% of their body weight, 30% maintained the loss for more than 4 years by eating fewer kilojoules, exercising more, and reporting in more often.
- NZ studies show that :-
- even with optimised diabetes medications, dietary change reduces high blood sugars
- people with diabetes have trouble complying with dietary recommendations
- people trying extremes of carbohydrate or protein intake usually revert to similar intakes by 1 year, emphasising that individual needs are more important than the diet
*Metformin is the first line medication for lowering blood sugar, after diet.
10 reasons to have a dietitian check for your diabetes risk:
Dietitian consultations can help in the prevention, delay of progression, and treatment, of diabetes. People with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes may have to be treated with insulin injections.
- Published studies with excellent results give us the tools to help you to your best results.
- Participants following dietary recommendations achieve better than average study results.
- Blood sugars rise after meals, so what you eat is always important to control diabetes.
- No matter how long anyone has had diabetes, diet and exercise are critical treatments.
- Weight loss improves blood sugar control if you have excess body fat.
- Medications may have to increase when weight gain continues or starts again.
- If medications increase rapidly, insulin injections are likely to be needed sooner.
- Studies show that people with Type 2 diabetes can have difficulty with dietary changes.
- When eating is poor, medications may be required too early in the progression of diabetes
- Diabetes-healthy eating can reduce the need or dose of medications that treat diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes means that you do not produce enough insulin for your body size and /or that your pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Family history is usual, but particularly if you are overweight. Insulin allows sugars to leave the bloodstream to keep blood sugar levels normal.
Ways to reduce your need for insulin
How it helps to reduce blood sugar
|Reduce body weight if you need to||A smaller body needs less insulin|
|Eat smaller meals and snacks||Less sugar reaches the bloodstream after food|
|Rearrange the types of foods you eat at meals||Some foods require more insulin in a short burst after meals|
|Exercise – especially around meal times||Blood sugar is used with less need for insulin|
|Take metformin (medication)||Blood sugar is removed with less need for insulin|
CHECK 2: what will work for me?
Type 2 diabetes represents the extreme end of lifestyle change for reducing heart-risk. Many people find the load of information, and for some, the degree of change recommended, just too much and they might ‘opt-out’ with risk to their health.
Individually tailored advice with a dietitian may be their best chance for even small changes that could be very effective.