Type 2 Diabetes: Lifestyle Intervention vs. Medication

To close the overview of type 2 diabetes, and to emphasize the important of changing your lifestyle and diet, we'll give a quick summary to just one of many research studies that show the importance of managing type 2 diabetes by diet and lifestyle adjustments (call commonly 'lifestyle intervention' in the medical jargon).

In this study, the diabetes medication 'Metformin' was compared to a placebo, and to a 'lifestyle intervention' (weight loss and exercise through better diet and a very modest exercise program). The original article as in 'The New England Journal of Medicine', Feb 7, 2002 titled "Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin" and performed by the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group".

In the study of over 3000 adult non-diabetics at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, after just under 3 years in the study, the metformin only reduced the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 31% while the lifestyle intervention program reduced the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 58% (both relative to the placebo). That is a huge difference.

Not only did the lifestyle change dramatically reduce the chance that the people in the study developed type 2 diabetes, but the lifestyle intervention far exceeded the medication in its protective health benefits against developing type 2 diabetes.

The message here is that the most important thing you can do to fight type 2 diabetes is to modify your diet and lifestyle. You may require medications eventually as well, but your most important weapon against type 2 diabetes is your choosing to live a healthy lifestyle (exercise and diet).

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