Medications for the Prevention of Diabetes Mellitus

Patient

Q: I Would like to know if a person does not have diabetes,should they be taking a sugar pill as a precautionary measure,or will this be of no value should they become a diabetic and cause them to start using insulin?

Doctor

A:   If a patient has not been diagnosed with type II diabetes mellitus, I see no reason for the administration of an oral hypoglycaemic agent. If this patient has glucose impairment or features of the metabolic syndrome, there is evidence to support introduction of lifestyle modifications and increased physical activity to prevent the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the future. Lifestyle modifications include; weight loss with a low-calorie and low-fat diet, to encourage reduction in blood pressure, and reduce LDL cholesterol, triglyceride and total cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL cholesterol levels, and moderate amounts of physical activity (30-45 minutes, 3-5 days a week). I would advise a check up with your family physician to discuss lifestyle modifications and the metabolic syndrome.

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