S Ravi, 49, who lives in Washington, DC, US, writes in an email interview: “In 2011, I was diagnosed with both high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. For a person who led a very active life with no history in family, was vegan, and who took pride in being fit, the diagnosis came as a shock. Not wanting to start taking medication right away I started with a lifestyle change. It was not just about the revision of my diet but also about walking whenever I could, every single day. After several months, I found that my fasting blood sugar had come down to the prediabetes range.”
Prediabetes is a condition where the person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. “Since then I have been consistent with my walks and now walk up to 5 miles (around 8km) daily. I don’t need medication for my blood sugar yet and am hoping that I won’t need it in the near future either,” writes Ravi.
Many people with prediabetes get diagnosed with diabetes within a decade. But Ravi is unlikely to be one of them as long as he sticks to his diet and exercise regime, says Shashank Joshi, consultant endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai. “I have many such patients who have successfully been able to keep diabetes at bay with a disciplined lifestyle. It requires motivation and discipline but can be done.” In other words, it’s difficult but doable.Read More
Sujata Kelkar Shetty, PhD, is a wellness consultant and a clinical scientist trained at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, US