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Lifestyle modification is better than medicine at preventing diabetes!

Diabetes is a killer. It causes stroke, heart disease, peripheral neuropathy, poor wound healing, peripheral vascular disease, immunosuppressive, eye disease, cranial nerve palsies, and more. But did you know you can prevent or delay diabetes? Now hold on, you may say. Diabetes runs in my family. We’re all just big-boned. We like our bread and our sweets, and they go straight to my waist. I mean, with modern medicine, can’t you just take a pill to prevent diabetes??

Well, in a landmark study done more than fifteen YEARS ago, people were put into 3 groups: the first, a placebo group. The second, metformin, a drug commonly used to treat and delay diabetes. The third? No medicine, just “lifestyle modification,” that is, trying to lose 7% of their body weight (less than 15 lb if you weigh 200), and exercising at least 150 minutes per week.All of these people were then followed for almost three years and monitored for diabetes.

The results were staggering. Patients just receiving placebo got diabetes at a rate of 11% per year. The metformin group got it at 8%. The lifestyle modification group? 5%. Those numbers may sound high to you, and that is because ALL of these patients started out with a high risk of developing diabetes- they all had elevated blood sugars to begin with. Average BMI was 34. The conclusion was that medicine can help delay diabetes. But lifestyle modification did it almost twice as well!

So the next time you think diabetes is all in your genes and you have no control, stop right there and think of this study. You have control! Now, as Nike says, just do it!

Be well.


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