With simple strategies that are scientifically grounded and practical, John Whyte, MD, WebMD’s Chief Medical Officer, offers the 34 million Americans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a life-enhancing way to slow or stop the disease course, while giving the 88 million people with pre-diabetes strategies to avoid diabetes entirely.
Launching March 8 and available to pre-order, Take Control of Your Diabetes Risk, busts the myths about who gets type 2 diabetes and why, and dismantles the notion that a diagnosis of pre-diabetes means diabetes is inevitable.
“When people are diagnosed with diabetes, they are understandably worried,” said Dr. Whyte. “They wonder what it means for their lives, and they often feel powerless. I wrote this book to give people back their power, with practical tools that can reverse pre-diabetes and possibly diabetes. As a practicing physician, I want people to know that lifestyle changes, begun early on in a diagnosis, can make a huge difference.”
With type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin, the hormone secreted by the pancreas that regulates the body’s use of sugar, or glucose, for energy. To compensate, the body produces more insulin, but because cells are resistant to it, the body still can’t effectively process glucose. The result is an excess level of sugar in the blood stream, which can lead to serious cardiovascular, neurological and immune system disorders and a range of issues, from blindness to sexual dysfunction.
Risks for diabetes and pre-diabetes include being overweight or obese, family history of diabetes, or having high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Other risk factors include being 45 or older, a sedentary lifestyle, or a history of gestational diabetes. African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are also at increased risk. People with pre-diabetes, who have elevated levels of blood sugar not yet high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, are at sharply elevated risk, yet nearly 85% are unaware they have the condition.
Debunking unscientific claims and products promising “cures,” Dr. Whyte offers practical guidance and realistic goal setting, including effective and doable weight loss strategies, the right kinds of exercise and how often (it’s not 10,000 steps), which supplements can help (and which show no benefit), the pros and cons of a vegan or plant-based diet, and stress control techniques that can help manage blood sugar. It also features a four- week meal plan, as well as a four-week exercise plan.
“I wanted to be honest in this book,” said Dr. Whyte. “America has a blood sugar problem, and its impact is felt in the lives of millions. People have far more control then they think. Making any change can be challenging at first, but the benefits for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes can literally change the course of their lives. It’s a journey, but one worth taking.”
Take Control of Your Diabetes Risk is the second in the three-part “Take Control” series, which gives people the strategies they need to be more in charge of their health and well-being.