Lifestyle Changes Can Help Decrease Risk Factors for Diabetics
A meta-analysis of research concerning lifestyle changes and diabetes was performed to see what impact changes in diet, physical activity and education have on cardiovascular risk factors for diabetics. A meta-analysis is a type of research study that increases statistical power because they combine data from several studies. In this case, the researchers analyzed 16 various research articles.
The risk factors they looked at included: body mass index (BMI, your ratio of height to weight,) HgA1c (a long-term marker of how stable your blood glucose is,) blood pressure, HDL and LDL (two types of cholesterol.) These are some of the lab values that your doctor may have discussed with you, or that you have from your routine check-ups. Because diabetes is a major risk factor for all vascular disease, researchers focused on these interventions and risk factors.
Results from this study showed that after an intervention of between six-months and up to 8 years, BMI, HgA1c and blood pressure were statistically reduced. HDL and LDL cholesterol showed no difference. It was noted that there may have been some bias within the study, as is often normal for any study. An example of this would be participants knowing what treatment they were receiving, and most often so did the researchers. Researchers take steps to eliminate as much bias as they can; if you’d like to read more about how they did do please click on the link below.
A key take-away point from this study includes a long-term approach being most beneficial to controlling cardiovascular risk factors in diabetics. No study included was less than six months in length, meaning lifestyle changes are sustainable shifts you maintain versus a “thing you do for a while” in order to potentially see the same results.
Regular visits with your doctor will further help you monitor progress towards any change in your risk factors. A health and wellbeing coach can assist you in setting goals around these changes and offer the accountability you desire to stay on track, with what will be of most benefit to you. A personal trainer can help you develop a physical activity routine. Wellness 65 can be of service to you on all accounts!
Chen,L., Pei, J.H., Kuang, J., Chen, H.M., Chen, Z., Li, Z.W., & Yang, H.Z. (2015). Effect of lifestyle intervention in patients with type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis, (64), 338-347. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2014.10.018