From the Summer 2011 Healthy Woman publication
A shocking 10.8 percent of American women have diabetes, increasing their risk factors for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and more. But before they’re diagnosed with diabetes, many of these women develop prediabetes – higher than normal blood sugar, which can already be damaging to the body.
Here’s the good news: “Type 2 diabetes (the most common kind) can be prevented or delayed,” according to Maria Stamp, MD, who has recently joined Lake Porter Medical Group in Valparaiso.
Stamp cites a study from Finland of more than 500 adults, using two groups – one that reduced their weight and exercised and a control group that did not. “At the end of four years, the group that controlled their weight and exercised had an 11 percent rate of diabetes, as opposed to 23 percent in the control group,” said Stamp. “And the positive benefits seem to have lasted. They were tested again seven years later and only 23 percent of the original, healthier group had diabetes, compared to 38 percent in the control group,” she said.
“We need to make changes and take ownership of our health to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes,” Stamp added. She offers the following ways to prevent type 2 diabetes and its damaging effects:
1. Amp Up Your Exercise
“Simply increase your activity level during the day. Whether this means getting a pedometer and counting your steps or taking the stairs rather than the elevator, just increasing the number of footsteps and how much you walk can make a difference without affecting the time in your day. You don’t have to have a gym membership to get exercise that’s effective,” Stamp advised.
2. Reduce Your Weight
“In the Finnish study, the group that was able to delay the onset of diabetes lost an average of just seven or eight pounds,” said Stamp. “You don’t have to lose 50 pounds to make a difference. Studies show us that changing to a healthier diet alone doesn’t delay diabetes. You need to show weight loss too,” she said. “Simple changes like drinking enough water to control our appetite and to better metabolize our food can make a difference. Being more intentional about what we eat can help us decrease the amount of sugar and fat in our diet.”
3. Don't Smoke
“Smoking cessation can play a significant role in preventing diabetes. There’s a strong connection between the inflammatory component of smoking and diabetes,” said Stamp. If you’re a smoker who wants to quit, contact the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1.800.784.8669 or www.in.gov/quitline.
To make an appointment with Dr. Stamp, call 219.464.7430
Visit the Porter Health System website
814 LaPorte Avenue
Valparaiso, IN 46383