Monday, May 22, 2017

Say NO! To Type 2 diabetes and Yes!! To a Healthier Life

Deya Chatterji and Nauman Mufti, MD

One of every three Americans, that is,  86 million of us suffer from an early, stage of diabetes known as prediabetes and most are unaware of this dangerous condition. The good news is that prediabetes is preventable at this stage.

If detected at prediabetic stage, the horrible complications of diabetes can be prevented. These complications include cardiovascular diseases, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, numbness and frequent infections leading to amputations.


The simplest parameters used to categorize a person as prediabetic are combination being overweight, having parents or siblings suffering from diabetes, age older than 45 years, sedentary life style or previous history of gestational diabetes.  If you have any of the above risk factors, kindly see your doctor for a simple blood test called Hemoglobin A1c. This test measures your blood sugar levels for the last three months. This test will determine whether you are prediabetic and thus eligible for enrollment into Center of disease control and prevention (CDC) s Diabetes Prevention Program.

Better Medicine Company, has two locations which participate in CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

 The central idea is to implement evidence based, high quality yet affordable life style modifications that will not only reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes but also improve their overall health. Moreover it’s drug free! It has been designed as a yearlong program divided in 2 parts of 6 months each. The modules are taught by a life coach trained to guide each participant.  Participants are encouraged to have a goal that is realistic, doable, specific and flexible. The course has 26 modules of which 16 are presented in the first 6 months. After the primary introduction to the program, the next few sessions are about how to track consumption of food, activity and best ways to shop. Some sessions instill techniques of stress and time management along with persistent motivation. It involves technology, humor and simple ways of making life prediabetes free and stress free. Ordinary parts of life such as eating, shopping, working on the desk, resting, eating in a restaurant is taught to be made healthy and exciting. Simple things such as making a portion healthy and filling with half part green fresh veggies, quarter part proteins such as meal and fish and the rest being simple energy giving carbohydrates are demonstrated. The sessions often provide sample healthy finger food and real life stories of how people turn their lives to a better direction. The life coach not only motivates the participant to be compliant to the program but also teaches people how to deal with stress in life which directly affects their eating and body metabolism. Overall the participant becomes much more disciplined and feels better right from the beginning.

The second part or the next six months focuses on compliance. It is designed to help people maintain the weight they have lost and the confidence and better health they have gained. People are encouraged to enjoy, get more sleep and get back on track.  Each participant must attend at least 9 sessions and encouraged to lose at least 5-7% of weight. Yearly assessment is conducted.  Use of social network media and new fitness applications help track patients and their overall progress.