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Can Heart Disease Be Prevented and Reversed?

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Prevention of Diabetes Is Not Difficult At All

Diabetes is a common chronic disease that could possibly lead to heart disease, if it is not appropriately controlled. When one passes the age of 40 and has any or the entire list of the following risk factors:

  • High blood pressure

  • High lipid levels (the excess fatty substances in the body, such as cholesterol)

  • A family history of diabetes

  • Diabetes during pregnancy

Plus, you are overweight. Despite not feeling anything wrong, you are probably at risk of developing diabetes.

But, it is possible to prevent diabetes. Several published prospective trials already showed that high-risk subjects with no diabetes who are put on an intensive lifestyle program and the medication can still prevent the fresh onset of diabetes.

While we are still unsure about the long-term effects of newer drugs used in diabetic treatment, lifestyle intervention should be the main therapy for those at high risk. This is simply because it has no side effects, and in the long term, it is safe.

Regular visits to health-care establishments for screening for diabetes is very important as diabetes is not only a silent condition, many complications with diabetes are also silent. In the pre-diabetes stage, there is no way of knowing whether there is anything wrong.

Not only people who are overweight are at risk, a thin or healthy-weight person can also be a victim. A 69-year-old lady with 1.58 m weighs only 50 kg who is definitely not fat at all. She gained 5 kg during the past 2 years. She started feeling tired a year ago during her daily exercise at 4 am. Apart from the tiredness and weight gain, her HbA1c was 6.5, which is outside the ideal range between 4.5 and 6.4. The HbA1c test measures the average amount of glucose in the blood. HbA1c is formed when glucose in the bloodstream binds to the hemoglobin found in red blood cells.

She was shocked because she is very discipline: exercise daily and watch her diet. It is possible that diabetes run in her family as her mother had diabetes and died of stroke and kidney failure. The doctor did not put her on medication but she was told to work on her diet, to continue exercising, and most importantly go for regular review. Six months later, her Hb1Ac level was reduced from 6.5 to 6.2. According to experts, 1 percent reduction in HbA1c can in fact lower the risk of diabetes complications, such as damage to the cardiovascular system, the kidney, and the eye.

As we age, our weight goes up and risk for various diseases also rises. It is easier to prevent than to reverse the process of obesity and all that comes with it.



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