Type 2 diabetes is developed over a long period of time and typically it goes through a phase called prediabetes for several years. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) introduced this relatively new term “prediabetes” in 2002 to increase awareness among physicians and the general population. One of the reasons for renaming prediabetes from its former clinical name of impaired glucose tolerance was to highlight the seriousness of the condition and to motivate people to get appropriate treatment. As the name suggests, prediabetes is defined as a condition that precedes type 2 diabetes. It’s also called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on the test used to diagnose it with. People with prediabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but they aren’t elevated enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. A fasting plasma glucose value between 100 to 125 mg/dl or more indicates impaired fasting glucose (IFG). In an oral glucose tolerance test, plasma glucose values between 140 to 199 mg/dl at 2 hours post-glucose load indicates impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
According to the recently released National Diabetes Fact Sheet by the CDC 21 and 54 million Americans suffer from diabetes and pre-diabetes respectively. The estimated total cost of diabetes in 2002 is 132 billion dollars for a total of 18.2 million diabetics. From 2002 the prevalence rates of diabetes has increased by 12.5%, suggesting an increasing trend. From the CDC Diabetes Fact Sheet and the literature it is evident that damage to the body already starts to take place during the pre-diabetes stage. In other words as the insulin resistance is gradually developing the blood sugar levels rise, which in turn results in a gamut of health problems like high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks, neuropathy, nephropathy, blindness, etc. Ultimately, prediabetes not only affects quality of life but also has a significant impact on personal and Government finances. Visit the CDC link on prediabetes: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/faq/prediabetes.htm.
An important outcome of the landmark studies of the Diabetes Prevention Program is that diabetes can be prevented by intensive lifestyle modification (healthy diet and exercise) amongst high-risk adults. Just by changing lifestyle alone a 58% success rate of prevention was achieved and by taking medication with Metformin the success rate was a moderate 31% over three years. However, to general population it is not enough to say eat healthy diet and exercise daily. In order to achieve higher degree of success they need to be educated, motivated, empowered to make knowledgeable decisions on taking medicines and/or supplements to complement with lifestyle changes.
At present no FDA approved drugs are available in the market specifically for PREVENTION of insulin resistance or prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes can be slowed, stopped, and even reversed with early intervention, lifestyle adjustments (eating healthy foods, regular exercise) and nutraceutical supplements. SAI Nutraceuticals has done extensive research in this area and worked with the experts to understand the mechanism of several nutraceuticals in prevention and/or managing prediabetes.