Lifestyle or medication – which is best to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes?
Pre diabetes is a huge problem as not only does it place someone at an increased risk of actually getting diabetes, but it also can cause an increased risk of CVD and death.
Exercise and lifestyle choices can dramatically reduce the risk of progressing to diabetes.
In the Diabetes Prevention Program study (whom results also reflected almost identically with a Finnish study) medication or lifestyle changes were reviewed in an attempt to ward off diabetes – there was a 58% reduction in the number of patients that progressed to diabetes, compared with only 31% by metformin. In the average 2.8yrs of follow up – 11% of controls (no intervention) progressed to diabetes, whereas only 4.8% of the lifestyle group became diabetic.
Lifestyle or medication?
- 27% better outcomes of diabetes prevention with lifestyle changes compared to medication
- There are far more benefits to health with lifestyle interventions than there are to medication – such as reduced blood pressure & cholesterol, increased fitness, reduced body fat, increased muscle mass…… the list truly goes on and on!
Lifestyle change should be the first choice in the prevention of diabetes, however with certain populations (BMI>35 age 24-44), metformin was equally effective, therefore should be initiated along side lifestyle changes.
So how much effort is needed to fight off diabetes?
Simply going for a 30min walk most days will help keep your body’s insulin working at its optimal level to keep blood sugars (glucose) low, whilst eating good wholesome foods – fresh fruit and vegetables, with lean meats, and reducing the intake of white/processed foods – will ensure your body and pancreas are not working overtime!
If you are not sure where to start, perhaps seek some professional advice of an accredited Dietitian or Exercise Physiologist to help you get on the right track.