Prevention of diabetes mellitus
There is no known preventive measure for type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented by a person being a normal body weight, physical exercise and following a healthful diet. Dietary changes known to be effective in helping to prevent diabetes include a diet rich in whole grains and fibre, and choosing good fats, such as polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, vegetable oils, and fish. Limiting sugary beverages and eating less red meat and other sources of saturated fat can also help in the prevention of diabetes. Active smoking is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes, so smoking cessation can be an important preventive measure as well. The most popular products for prevention of diabetes are presented below.
Criteria for screening for type 2 diabetes in asymptomatic adults
Screening for diabetes should be done at 3-year intervals in adults over 45 years if they have no risk factors and tests are normal and more frequently, based on initial result or in those adults with multiple risk factors. High-risk individuals are all adults, any age, with BMI > 25 kg/m2 (overweight or obese) plus 1 or more additional risk factors for future diabetes including:
- physical inactivity
- hypertension (BP > 140/90 mmHg)
- family history of diabetes (1st degree)
- dyslipidaemia (serum high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol < 0.90 mmol/L or triglycerides > 2.82 mmol/L)
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
- high-risk ethnic group
- cardiovascular disease history
- history of gestational diabetes mellitus or baby > 4 kg at birth
The most popular products for prevention of diabetes must be used even before screening is done.
Risks for getting diabetes
The metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, elevated serum triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, hypertension, elevated fasting blood glucose level) increases the risk of developing diabetes approximately 5-fold and doubles the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Many individuals may present with the characteristic symptoms of diabetes (thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and blurring of vision) but some individuals, especially older persons, may be asymptomatic. The acute complications of diabetes are hypoglycaemia [usually as a complication of therapy] and uncontrolled hyperglycaemia [due to improper management and/or patient non-adherence], whilst the long-term relatively specific effects of diabetes include the development of retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. People with diabetes are also at increased risk of other diseases, including cardiac, peripheral arterial and cerebrovascular disease. The most popular products for prevention of diabetes reduce the risk of getting diabetes.
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Published by an experienced medical doctor
Dr BA Mabaso, MB ChB, MPhil, MBA, DHSM