It is Time for Healthier Choices!

It is Your Health and Your Choice®!   Choose Health!

marie

March 12, 2016 by Marie Veselsky RD, LD, BC-ADM

As a Registered Licensed Dietitian, I am always going to recommend a more holistic approach such as diet and lifestyle changes first, or in addition to any prescription drug you decide to take. You should always work with your doctor and weigh the risk with the benefit of any medication!

Facts on people’s current health in the United States: 

  • 50% have a chronic condition
  • Over half of American adults have Pre-diabetes or Diabetes
  • 67% overweight or obese
  • Nearly 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug with 50% on two

I have found that the best outcomes for people happen when they play an active role in their own health management. As a credentialed licensed Registered Dietitian, I understand that people are alive right now because of the advances in medicine and medications. A good example is insulin and how it has saved many lives, but also there are medications being taken as if they are a “magic bullet.”  The person feels they don’t need to make diet and lifestyle changes if they are on that drug!

Diabetes is a prime example of the above.  All these years we have been “managing” the symptoms: hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and the metabolic syndrome . . . primarily with drugs while only giving lip service to food and exercise.  The cost of diabetes drugs has reached outrageous amounts. 

Diet (lower carb, functional foods), Exercise, Stress Reduction and Weight Loss are the “best meds” and it is not as hard as it sounds! One just needs a health coach to get them going in the right direction! Many of my clients that were proactive and thus successful in their own health improvements have said “I had a gut feeling I needed to make a change and that is why I showed up at your office door.” 

Evolved Medicine – Research shows that “Diet and Exerciseare most effective for preventing pre-diabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. A major study in 2002 found that the combination of diet and exercise reduced the odds of pre-diabetes becoming diabetes by 58%, compared with 31% among those using the common diabetes drug metformin.

Yearly sales of diabetes drugs has reached over $23 billion according to the data from IMS Health, a drug market research firm. This is more than the combined revenue of the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. In addition, people with diabetes spend an average of $6,000 annually for the treatment of their disease, according to a recent report by Consumer Reports Health. Many are on two or more diabetes medications, but yet do not exercise or watch their carb intake, and are not actively trying to lose weight. From 2004 to 2013, none of the 30 new diabetes drugs that came on the market were proven to improve key outcomes, such as reducing heart attacks or strokes, blindness and other complications of the disease, per an investigation by MedPage Today and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Diet, especially carbohydrate reduction, exercise, weight loss and lifestyle changes should always be used as the first line of defense for elevated blood sugars associated with insulin resistance and being overweight for your height. If your doctor feels you need a diabetes medication, then diet, exercise and weight loss should always be used in conjunction with the medication.

The good news is, as I like to tell my clients, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You can’t go back and start over, but you can start from here and have a better future.” It is never too late to make changes. Research as of 2016 shows that if you hang in there and get the support you need, you can be successful!