Diabetes Prevention (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Type 2 diabetes prevention facts
- Introduction to diabetes prevention
- What is type 2 diabetes?
- What are the risks factors for developing diabetes?
- What "red flags" or symptoms point to an increased risk for diabetes?
- Is gestational diabetes a risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life?
- Diabetes prevention and diet
- Is there anything that can help to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes?
- Are there medications that can help to prevent type 2 diabetes?
- Find a local Family Physician in your town
What "red flags" or symptoms point to an increased risk for diabetes?
There are indicators of problems in blood sugar metabolism that can be seen years before the development of overt diabetes. Physicians in the field of endocrinology are now routinely looking at these indicators in patients who are high risk for developing diabetes.
Irregular menses (menstruation)
There is an association between the lengthening of the menstrual cycle and the risk for developing diabetes, particularly in obese women. In a national study of nurses, those who had a cycle length of greater than 40 days were twice as likely to develop diabetes then those who cycled every 26 to 31 days. The association is thought to be related to polycystic ovary disease, which is also known to be associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance may be a precursor for type 2 diabetes.
Impaired Fasting Glucose
By definition, diabetes is associated with a fasting blood sugar of greater than 126 mg/dl. There is another group that has been identified and referred to as having impaired fasting glucose. These people have a fasting blood sugar value of between 110-126mg/dl. The main concern with this group is that they have an increased potential to develop type 2 diabetes when compared to the normal population. The actual percent increase varies depending on ethnicity, weight, etc.; but it is significantly higher, regardless of absolute numbers. In addition, it is known that people with impaired fasting glucose also are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
The role of inflammation is an area of extreme interest in regard to disease development. For example, in recent years we have begun to understand the importance of inflammation and heart disease. We now know that inflammation may play an important role in the development of diabetes as well. An inflammation marker known as C-reactive protein has been shown to be increased in women at risk for developing the metabolic syndrome, and in both men and women at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Other risks for the development of diabetes include endothelial dysfunction (abnormal response of the inner lining of blood vessels) and retinal artery narrowing (narrowing of the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye).
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