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DASH Diet Discourages Diabetes

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Following a DASH-type diet reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has become increasingly common over the past few years. This disease, in which the body becomes resistant to insulin, was once called adult-onset diabetes but it is not unusual for adolescents to develop it these days. A 5-year study of about 900 people discovered that those whose diets were richest in vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products were least likely to be diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.


[Diabetes Care, August, 2009]

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I have heard from several sources that type-2 diabetes in seniors is the "fad" diagnosis of this decade. These sources go on to point out that a little intolerance to carbos in older people is normal and nothing to worry about and this is often interpreted as diabetes when it is, in fact, not.

They also point out that Big Pharma is making a LOT of money selling medications for type 2 diabetes and that a good percentage of them are unnecessary.

If these stories are true, how can I as a non-medical person, tell when a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is genuine and when it is nothing but fad?

Could you comment on this?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: MOST FAD DIAGNOSES RELY ON SUBJECTIVE SYMPTOMS, WHICH IS WHY THEY ARE CONSIDERED FADS. DIABETES IS DIAGNOSED ON THE BASIS OF ELEVATED FASTING BLOOD SUGAR. IF YOU WANT TO BE EXTRA-SURE YOU NEED TREATMENT BEFORE STARTING ON MEDICATION, ASK THE DOCTOR TO TEST HbA1c. THIS IS A WAY OF EVALUATING HOW HIGH YOUR BLOOD SUGAR HAS BEEN OVER THE PAST MONTH TO SIX WEEKS.

TYPE 2 DIABETES IS SOMETIMES TREATABLE WITH WEIGHT LOSS OR WITH DIET, SO BE SURE TO DISCUSS THOSE POSSIBILITIES WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN. THE FIRST-LINE DRUGS ARE AVAILABLE AS GENERICS QUITE INEXPENSIVELY, SO YOU DON'T NEED TO ENRICH BIG PHARMA EVEN IF YOU DO NEED MEDICATION.

I was told years ago, by a young Dr., that I was diabetic and needed medication. I began to watch my diet, started to exercise and with my new Dr. have my AIC checked on a regular basis. It has always been around 6.5. My blood sugar is only high, when I get up in the AM. As soon as I eat, it returns to normal. I believe I have what is called a "Dawn effect" where the body does not produce insulin in the early morning hours, but kicks in as soon as I eat breakfast. I am glad I never started on medication for diabetes as I do not think I need it and am doing fine for more than 6 yrs now. I use a blood glucose meter about 3 times a week and am rarely above the normal blood sugar range.

Other than controlling hypertension, DASH diet is also good in controlling weight. Obesity is one of the major cause in Type 2 diabetes, that is why DASH diet works well for this disease.

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