Myfitnesspal

Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Can diabetes really be prevented with diet, exercise and a normal BMI - despite family history?

wisdomfromyouwisdomfromyou Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
My mother is diabetic and my father is borderline (pre-diabetic).
Both became quite sedentary after they retired from their comparatively active jobs (agronomists, walking up and down green-house alleys a good part of the day).

My mother acquired diabetes a few years after that. My father just plain sits on the couch and watches the news a good part of the day. They both live overseas (not in the US).
My mom was almost obese when she was diagnosed and she was a major emotional eater due to some problems related to my brother - but she lost weight ever since. My father is overweight too.

What are my chances of NEVER getting diabetes if, unlike them:

1. I will work to keep my BMI at a normal level.
2. I exercise daily and make sure to get in at least 10,000 steps a day (not just the hour of intense exercise).
3. I stay on top of diet and do low-carb, avoid sugar, take blood sugar lowering supplements, whatever.

Last year I had a BMI of 24.8 but I have put on some weight over the past few months due to work-related stress. I am on my way back down to 24.9 which would make me "normal".
My fasting blood sugar varies from upper 80's to mid 90's on a home testing device (Relion) which, in my experience, shows higher values than doctor's lab.

I have 13 lbs to lose to be back to a normal BMI - and I am 43.

I am so terrified of getting this illness given my family history.

Please someone tell me I can avoid it altogether if I BEHAVE long term - per diabetes guidelines.

Thank you all.
edited July 2016
«13456

Replies

  • mommarnursemommarnurse Member, Premium Posts: 515 Member Member, Premium Posts: 515 Member
    Only when it comes to type 1. - Genetics will win regardless of any lifestyle management with that one.
    As @robininfl pointed out, it's largely lifestyle-dependent, something that's strongly passed down from our parents
    by learned-by-exampled type thing. I think if you are genetically predisposed to have Type 2, then you could avoid it, or stave it off for much longer by lifestyle. That is, maintaining healthy body weight, saying lean and with regular exercise can keep your body insulin-sensitive.
  • upoffthematupoffthemat Member Posts: 679 Member Member Posts: 679 Member
    You can't 100% guarantee you won't get it, but you can reduce your chances in a major way. Very few thinner people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It is a matter of keeping your weight down and not eating an excess of sugar and carbs.
    It is possible you could still draw the really short straw, but eating well and staying fit is like the difference between playing Russian Roulette with 1 bullet in the revolver or 5.
  • caroldavison332caroldavison332 Member Posts: 882 Member Member Posts: 882 Member
    I'm type 2. I avoid grain, including added sugar, and oils.
  • Zipp237Zipp237 Member Posts: 255 Member Member Posts: 255 Member
    Most of the "type II" people ate themselves into diabetes. That can be avoided, of course. That doesn't mean tha everyone can avoid being diabetic. Not that we know of, anyway.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,636 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,636 Member
    Your risk will be lowered immensely, but if diabetes is genetic in your family, there will always be a risk versus those who don't have a history of it in their families.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • LINIALINIA Member, Premium Posts: 1,023 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,023 Member
    Drop the whites, sugar..flour...do enjoy healthy fats like olive oil, avocado. My risk level via family history (like yours) is strong, my choice is to eat LcHf--i've never had an elevated blood sugar even once.
    Rice quickly elevates blood sugar, my choice is not to eat rice, even the so called healthier brown breads and grains i avoid. Instead i do enjoy a vast array of all colors of vegetables; red peppers, yellow peppers, brussel sprouts, spinach, really all the leafy greens along with moderate protein.
    Good Luck and yes, drop the extra pounds in the manner you choose.
  • jgnatcajgnatca Member Posts: 14,495 Member Member Posts: 14,495 Member
    You may have a genetic predisposition. You MAY delay onset with lifestyle changes. Ever since I was diagnosed pre-diabetic l have looked at it as a lifetime condition. In remission right now from significant weight loss.

    I still eat like a diabetic. Lots of veggies with my meals, portioned protein, enough protein at my meals.
  • wisdomfromyouwisdomfromyou Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    Thank you, all.
    Your answers helped - and without a doubt, I know that the changes in lifestyle compared to my 30's (when I was trying to build a career, raising small children and stressing like a maniac, including emotional eating) - can never happen again.
    Since I turned 40, 3 years ago - I have been doing much better, with some lapses here and there.

    To address some of the questions/comments above:

    - My family history of diabetes (yes, it is Type 2) is limited to my parents (mainly my mom, clear diabetic, and my dad - pre-diabetic/borderline). Nobody else in our family has ever been diagnosed with it.
    All of my grandparents lived in their very late 80's or 90's and grandfather on father's side to 99. They were all active because they had to be living under communism. No cars, walking everywhere, only basic, 100% natural/organic food available, no fun snackies, extremely little processed food etc.
    My parents, however, became sedentary after retirement and when the market was invaded by processed food, post-socialism, they went to town.
    My mom ate a lot emotionally, until she reached about 250-270 lbs at 5'3" height.
    Given this background, I hope that perhaps I can dodge it with lifestyle, having caught better awareness times.

    - My other medical tests are very nice, including cholesterol and tryglicerides which my doctor gushes over every time. Of course, she never said anything bad about blood sugar either - with 87 and 84 fasting glucose on the most recent annual physicals (lab results) and an A1C of 5.4 (meh!).
    - Granted, I was lighter last year and now I am kind of scared about the numbers that will come out in August when I have my yearly physical again - with about 15 lbs extra.

    LINIA wrote: »
    Drop the whites, sugar..flour...do enjoy healthy fats like olive oil, avocado. My risk level via family history (like yours) is strong, my choice is to eat LcHf--i've never had an elevated blood sugar even once.
    Rice quickly elevates blood sugar, my choice is not to eat rice, even the so called healthier brown breads and grains i avoid. Instead i do enjoy a vast array of all colors of vegetables; red peppers, yellow peppers, brussel sprouts, spinach, really all the leafy greens along with moderate protein.
    Good Luck and yes, drop the extra pounds in the manner you choose.

    What is LcHf, Linia?
    I already try to do everything you mentioned. Well...in my good, "aware", "good control" periods. I did have relapses into "whatever food, little exercise" over the past few years though.
    So I have not been perfect all the time - but generally, I DO aim to avoid white, processed carbs.

    I myself have never had an officially elevated blood sugar at the lab, but my home Relion (which apparently overestimates values) has shown , has been knows to show some values into 100's, one or two times.
    On average, hwoever, I show upper 80's-mid 90's on my home testers. At the doctor's lab, I come out in the mid 80's. This year (August) I am bracing myself because I weigh at least 10 lbs more than last year when I had my physical. :-(
    neohdiver wrote: »
    I would encourage you to limit your carb intake if you are serious about trying to avoid diabetes. Ignore the ADA guidelines (which push at least 150 carbs, often more, a day). Once I am done playing with cancer (I had to put eating at a calorie deficit on a hold while undergoing cancer treatment), I will return to the extremely calorie restricted diet for up to 8 weeks in an attempt to nudge my metabolism back to non-diabetic. If I can alter my insulin resistance enough to get back to "normal," rather than diabetic, going forward I would limit my carbs to fewer than 100 a day.

    If you drastically limit carbs, even good ones such as those in beans, fruit, some veggies, etc...I suppose then you eat a lot of protein?

    I try to focus on veggies and greens (including a daily green smoothie), nuts and some clean sources of meat (grass fed beef, free-range chicken, organic rarely due to expense, and fish).
    I do have about once slice of whole grain bread a day. Sometimes very few no-salt, organic chips just so I can dip into guacamole, which otherwise makes me sick.
    I do try to limit the carbs as much as I can ...but I don't think I can ban them altogether.

    Regarding non-diagnosed people eating like a diabetic, I understand the general consensus is that everyone should really eat like a diabetic anyway.
    The question is...if those of us with family history, predisposition, blood sugar creeping into 90's...do so - will we be able to prevent with diet, exercise and monitoring?

    Exercise doesn't come naturally to me....or with those proverbial serotonins/highs/whatever. I am darn exhausted all the time and my muscles hurt.
    I make serious efforts to do it - not because I am very heavy but simply because I am naturally low energy and I like to sit and think/read, rather than move around and do. :-)
    I even once had some kind of test which came out very low and that apparently indicates a genetic and rare tendency towards low energy or something like that. Dr. said nothing of it but that was quite intriguing to me after I read more about it.

    So knowing that all this exercise effort might still not work to prevent the illness - can be very disheartening.
    I just hope those estimations that say people can DRAMATICALLY lower the risk with diet, exercise and normal BMI are true. I understand risk cannot be guaranteed to be zero...but still.

    As for cancer, I don't have it in my family, but the word itself sends shivers down my spine.
    Then again, I suffer from major health-related anxiety (formerly known as hypochondria :-)).
  • ForecasterJasonForecasterJason Member Posts: 2,582 Member Member Posts: 2,582 Member
    Higher than normal blood sugar (not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes) runs in my family, and I have it to some extent even though I'm only 22. While it hasn't been 100% confirmed that there is no autoimmune component to my family history, one thing I can say is that weight and activity level are mostly irrelevant in my family history. So it appears as though carb intake is more of a factor in my case.

    I do think that it would be prudent to keep an eye on your carb intake, which it sounds like you are already doing.
  • wisdomfromyouwisdomfromyou Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    Higher than normal blood sugar (not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes) runs in my family, and I have it to some extent even though I'm only 22. While it hasn't been 100% confirmed that there is no autoimmune component to my family history, one thing I can say is that weight and activity level are mostly irrelevant in my family history. So it appears as though carb intake is more of a factor in my case.

    I do think that it would be prudent to keep an eye on your carb intake, which it sounds like you are already doing.

    Thank you, Jason . Definitely keeping a tight eye on the carbs.
    Do you find weights help?

    I wanted to add that I just came back from the gym where I did some slightly more intensive than normal weight lifting, as well as some brisk walking to and from the gym - and after this, I tested my blood sugar on Relion.
    I was floored to see it at 76.

    It is amazing what weight lifting can do for blood sugar. I had noticed such episodes before after weight lifting - my blood sugar goes down significantly (in the low 80's...and now mid 70's).

    I could have watched that number on the Relion screen forever! :-)



  • JeromeBarry1JeromeBarry1 Member Posts: 10,183 Member Member Posts: 10,183 Member
    LCHF is Low Carb High Fat. Generally, the "High Fat" is superfluous as "Low Carb" is enough of a code word to identify adherents.
  • selfepidemic1selfepidemic1 Member Posts: 159 Member Member Posts: 159 Member
    There was literally a study about perhaps it being more to do with gut flora? That said, maybe its high sugar foods that are causing the environment for this, that said, its always good to not be squish!

    I eat low GI/Keto, and I feel much healthier for it :)
  • wisdomfromyouwisdomfromyou Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    So Midwesterner,

    How would I know what type of Type2 is likely in my family hisory ?

    With both of my parents, I strongly suspect just lifestyle factors - because there was no trace of diabetes in the family before them.

    When diagnosed, my mom had become obese and was eating emotionally (a lot) without any exercise other than some trips to the market. Her mother and sisters were never anywhere close to diabetes.
    She also had a terrible doctor who only mentioned the word diabetes when she found her blood sugar in the 300's. She had found it well ino the diabetic range before but all she told my mom at that time was to "watch the bread" - no diagnosis. A year later, with values in the 300's the dr. Panicked and only then she told my mom she had diabetes. In the US, she would have had the living lights sued out of her, but in my home country, the suing thing doesn't work.

    My dad comes from great genes, everyone in his family lives close to 100 (father 99, mother 90, aunts 95+). He is 71 now and even with a largely sedentary lifestyle and eating whatever he wants (including sweets and animal fat), he is still only "prediabetic". He also smoked for decades but quit about 10 years ago. I have a feeling that if both had had better lifestyles earlier, they would not have developed type 2 and pre-diabetes, respectively.

    So I keep hoping its a type 2 I can avoid, now that we all know better.


Sign In or Register to comment.