Sugar Matters
June 25, 2013

Yes, you CAN do it!

The recommendations to follow a better diet and get more physical exercise towards a goal of losing weight are commonly given in medicine. Research data tells us that for those people with pre-diabetes, the use of diet and exercise to lose weight is the BEST measure towards prevention of diabetes. “Well, yeah,” I hear you saying. However, the problem is not with the recommendation; the problem is with the execution. You see, most people simply will NOT lose that recommended amount of weight and instead go on to needing medication after all.{{more}} You shake your head at me, but you know it is true. This week, however, I bring you a case of a patent of mine who did succeed on his own, after multiple warnings from his primary doctor and from me.

This gentleman came to see me for a different hormone concern, but in the course of doing a proper evaluation, I found out he was pre-diabetic. Right on the line in fact: his A1C was 6.4 per cent and Diabetic is 6.5 per cent or higher. Plus his cholesterol was not good and his blood pressure was high. I discussed with him that this was quite a concern, and that he, now in his mid-40’s, was headed in a very dangerous direction, where he would likely develop full blown Type 2 diabetes within the next five years, and be at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes in future, given the other issues. I recommended he meet with a nutritionist to set weight loss targets, change his diet, and that he start increasing his physical activity. He refused and said, no, he would do it on his own. So, we set out weight targets and I advised that if he was unsuccessful in losing any weight in three months that he should meet with a nutritionist then. Well, he missed his three month appointment, but then came back to see me about seven months later.

He was 35 pounds slimmer!

You can’t imagine HOW glad I was to see him in this situation instead of his prior. Then I got the story from him. Apparently, my information had scared him, and his primary doctor reinforced the same advice. He took it all seriously to heart, and with his own stubborn determined personality, decided he would “do this on his own.” He started cutting back on what he ate. He initially simply cut out all the soft drinks he was having every day, and in one week he lost five pounds. The success was so inspiring to him that he made more changes: he started cutting all his meal portions in about half. He initially was hungry, of course, but he forced himself to walk away from the food.
He would cut half the hamburger, eat it, then put the other half away. He said it drove his wife and friends crazy to see him doing that, but he was determined. He started going to a gym when he lost 15 pounds, and he had been going ever since. I asked him how he dealt with the hunger and he said he just powered through it, drank lots of water and distracted himself by being busy AWAY from the temptation of food. Turned out that his stubbornness helped him succeed, because whenever someone else tried to get him to eat more food, he just stuck to his decision and said, no thanks. PLUS, he said that he was now used to eating smaller amounts. In his words: “I eat my favourite foods, but when that little voice says I am full, I stop, and that is the end.”

Needless to say, his blood pressure is much better. He is no longer pre-diabetic: he reduced his A1C from 6.4 per cent to 5.1 per cent! All through his weight loss through diet and exercise.

This is a note of encouragement to all of you. Please take those warnings from your medical team seriously. If you are told to work on losing weight, do so. You may be like this gentleman and be able to do it on your own. You may, instead, like most people, need the help of a dietician and a group exercise plan to help you along the way. There are many different ways to reach this same goal. But the important thing is to START.

Until next week, stay safe and healthy Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227