Tag Archives: Type 2 diabetes

The Steep Price of Overlooking Prediabetes Risk Factors

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Stop Prediabetes_CPDWhen you have diabetes, self-managing this condition through a list of tasks can be very challenging in your daily life.

However, whether you live with or without diabetes, your days will be happier and your life, simpler, if you cut off or minimize, improve or prevent a few of 11 risk factors for prediabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to meet the criteria as diabetes. About 86 million of Americans adults have prediabetes, and 90 percent of people with the condition don’t know they have it, based on the CDC’s data.

So, it’s urgent to know your risk. Why? Because prediabetes may develop to type 2 diabetes, the progression can lead to several health consequences. Among these is an association of prediabetes with the development of cancer. Research reveals that prediabetes is significantly linked to an increased risk for cancer of stomach, liver, pancreas, colon, breast and endometrium.

Here I’ll help you learn 11 risk factors of prediabetes, which type 2 diabetes also shares.

  1. Overweight or obesity: Obesity is an epidemic, and of our greatest concern is that it has spread to our children. The fatty tissue makes the cells become less sensitive to glucose, leaving a higher level of sugar in the blood. One more note – overweight/obesity may cause insulin resistance, which is a condition where the cells do not respond to insulin properly; and to meet the body’s demand, the pancreatic beta cells produce more insulin to help cells absorb glucose from the blood stream. Excess insulin and insulin resistance are a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, and make weight loss more difficult.
  2. Abdominal obesity: Extra fat around your abdominal region is considered a risk. A waist size over 35 inches for women or over 40 inches for men may post a higher prevalence of prediabetes. “Belly fat” is associated with high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
  3. “SAD” diet:Standard American Diet features high in sugar, fat, and red or processed meats, and excess carbohydrates. An inadequate diet can impair insulin sensitivity over time. Additionally, portion control is also a key player. To help manage, I’d suggest you start with a smaller-size plate, rather than a regular dinner plate.
  4.  Physical inactivity: If you are not physically active or regularly exercising, you may experience weight gain over time, and you’re more likely to develop prediabetes.
  5.  Long-term stress: Under stress, the body releases the hormone cortisol into the blood stream, raising blood glucose levels, which can cause diabetes.
  6.  Metabolic syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a group of three or more conditions that take place together and influence metabolism. When an impact of obesity, dyslipidemia (abnormal levels of “good” and “bad” cholesterol) and high blood pressure compounds, insulin resistance can occur.
  7.  Family history: Having an immediate family member or relative with type 2 diabetes considerably increases the risk of prediabetes.
  8.  Age: After the age of 45, the risk of prediabetes goes up, despite the fact that prediabetes can develop in anyone of any age. Aging alone contributes to decline in beta cell function of the pancreas. Aging could also let one easily get into inactivity, a poor diet, and a loss of muscle mass.
  9.  Ethnicity/Race: African-American, Native American, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have a higher risk of developing prediabetes.
  10.  Gestational diabetes: Women who give birth to babies weighing over 9 pounds may be at a higher risk for prediabetes. Women previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy and their children have a higher risk too.
  11.  Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Women with PCOS are more susceptible to insulin resistance, thereby leading to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, activities contributing to chronic inflammation, such as tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol, and poor sleep quality, also post an increased risk of prediabetes and diabetes.

In the end, consider this price tag – The lowest cost of prediabetes or diabetes for individual health and our healthcare system is prevention, early detection, and timely treatment.

Nobody can control age, ethnicity, race or family history. But you can control those modifiable risk factors by changing lifestyle, especially having a balanced diet, exercise and healthy weight. Lifestyle modification can not only lower your risk of prediabetes or diabetes, but also that of cancer significantly.


Image credit: Clipart and CPD

Why It Is Critical to Prevent Diabetes: Association with Pancreatic Cancer

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Stop diabetes logoHere are a couple of sobering statistics: A total of 25.8 million children and adults in the United States and 347 million worldwide have diabetes. These figures demonstrate clearly that diabetes has become a pandemic in today’s world.

Preventing diabetes in our own and our families’ lives should be of great concern to us for several reasons. One reason is that a diagnosis of diabetes can result in life-altering changes needed to manage the disease. But there is another big reason such a diagnosis is troubling, and today I’m going to focus on that reason. I’m going to talk about the urgent need for diabetes prevention because diabetes is a known risk factor of pancreatic cancer.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body either cannot make enough insulin (Type 1) or cannot effectively uses its own insulin (Type 2). Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that regulates blood sugar by facilitating glucose (sugar) storage in the cells for energy. When insulin fails to do its job, blood sugar levels rise.

Type 2 diabetes affects 90% of people with diabetes around the world and results largely from being overweight and physical inactivity. High blood sugar levels can lead to long-term damage to cells and organs, as seen in complications like high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve disorders.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease in which cancerous cells develop inside the pancreas, an organ that produces hormones such as insulin and digestive juices. (See more on “The Rule of Three for Pancreatic Cancer Prevention”).

What is the relationship between the two?

Accumulated studies have revealed a positive association between diabetes and pancreatic malignancy, although the details of what is the exact causal relationship are complex and controversial. Diabetes may be either a symptom or a risk factor of pancreatic cancer. Here are some facts showing why it has been concluded that the two maladies are connected:

-          Pancreatic cancer occurs two times more in people who have diabetes than in those without diabetes.

-          Approximately 80% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, when diabetes co-exists, often have a progressive malignancy.

-          Patients with new-onset Type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. When suffering from cancer, they have a worse rate of long-term survival and a higher rate of post-surgical complications.

-          45% of pancreatic cancer patients have diabetes and more than half of diabetes cases are newly developed. Thus diabetes has been proposed to be a clue for early cancer diagnosis.

In summary, diabetes is considered to be a risk factor of pancreatic cancer and has a negative impact on the prognosis and outcome of this deadly form of cancer. That is one excellent reason why it is so important to prevent diabetes.

To help in that prevention, here are a couple of small, easy, and effective dietary practices that can be achieved on a daily basis:

  • To help keep your blood glucose under control, avoid foods high in sugar. High sugar-containing foods include rich desserts, candies, ice cream, sweetened drinks and fruits packed in syrup. Furthermore, many processed foods hold excessive sugar.
  • Drink plenty of water, which benefits your body in many ways, especially helping remove metabolic by-products when hyperglycemia occurs.

Following these two suggestions daily can go a long way toward helping keep you free of the plague of diabetes… And oh yes, don’t forget to include an appropriate measure of exercise in your lifestyle!

Until my next cancer prevention blog, I wish you Good Health, Good Living and Happy Thanksgiving!


Image credit: By articaal.blogspot.com