Diffusing the Diabetes Bomb
The Fitness and Wellness Command Center has just raised the threat level to Code Orange, one level below Code Red--imminent attack. The bad news is forty percent of Americans between ages 40 and 74 are carrying the ticking time bomb of pre-diabetes, the precursor of diabetes. This stealthy attacker can lead to a dangerous array of health problems. Nerve impairment, kidney problems and blindness are among the most common complications. The good news is you are now in training to be your own bomb disposal expert. Hoo-ya, commandos, welcome to class.
According to the Clinical Exercise Specialist Manual from the American Council on Exercise, diabetes is a disorder that disrupts protein and fat metabolism. Generally speaking, people with diabetes have an elevated blood glucose level that results from deficient insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. Fasting blood glucose levels over 125 mg/dl are considered diabetic. If you are over 40 and do not know your number or know that “mg/dl” means milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood, your first mission is to arm yourself with information: make a doctor appointment.
Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood sugar is elevated between 100 and 125 mg/dl. It is important to know if your blood sugar falls in this range because there is a good chance you will have full-blown diabetes in ten years if left untreated. In important research conducted by the Diabetes Prevention Program, over 3000 middle-aged men and women with pre-diabetes were studied over a three-year span. One group in the study exercised 30 minutes a day and followed a low-fat diet in order to reduce their weight by 7%. This equates to 10 ½ pounds for a 150 person. The next group took Glucophage, a medication often prescribed for diabetes. The last group took a placebo.
The findings offer hope and a roadmap to manage this warning shot across your brow. Thirty percent of the pre-diabetes placebo group developed full-blown diabetes. Twenty two percent of the Glucophage group developed diabetes. In a most heartening finding, only 14% of the exercise and weight reduction group developed diabetes.
If your doctor diagnoses you with pre-diabetes, the Department of Fitness Defense advises the following action plan:
Even if you have not been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, following the above plan can only help you live a healthy and fit life. If you need help getting into gear, I would be delighted to send you a complimentary list of ten simple changes you can make everyday to get started immediately. So, fitness commandos, get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow you ship out to fight the good fight.
If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, a couple of things you should consider doing are: start a cardio fitness training program to reduce your weight and control blood sugar levels and pump iron to build muscle mass that can increase your metabolic rate.