The Lie That’s Killing Us: Pre-Diabetes

By Riva Greenberg

Pre-diabetes is a lie. Pre-diabetes is Stage 1 diabetes. And I’m taking a stand now advocating that we call it what it is.

Pre-diabetes doesn’t exist. And the lie we tell that it does does incredible harm. It stops the nearly 80 million Americans we say have it from making the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent advanced Type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is in truth the first stage of diabetes.

My proposition is that recognizing pre-diabetes as “Stage 1” Type 2 diabetes will get millions more people to take action to stop their diabetes from progressing.

About 80 million people is roughly the populations of California, Texas and New York combined. The International Diabetes Federation reports that in 2011, 280 million people worldwide were glucose intolerant (pre-diabetic). In only 17 years, 398 million people will be.

We clearly need a new strategy. The 25-year campaign the American Diabetes Association has waged to raise awareness of diabetes and pre-diabetes and urge preventive and healthful behaviors has been sadly, and enormously, unsuccessful.

Pre-Diabetes Is Stage 1 Diabetes
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Pre-diabetes literally says you don’t have diabetes — but you do. Your blood sugars are higher than normal, a defining characteristic of diabetes.

A study performed at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Detroit showed 36 percent of people with pre-diabetes already had coronary artery disease, similar to the 42 percent with Type 2 diabetes and strikingly higher than the 21 percent with normal blood sugars. Higher than normal glucose levels impact hypertension (high blood pressure) and lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides. Plus, most people with pre-diabetes show signs of retinopathy (eye damage), nephropathy (kidney damage) and neuropathy (nerve damage), all diabetes complications.

Lynda Sardeson, a certified diabetes educator and registered nurse, wrote to me in an email, “We began diagnosing pre-diabetes and put it in practice guidelines around 2004 to try and ‘catch’ those with diabetes earlier to prevent more complications.”

Exactly: “To catch those with diabetes earlier…” So let’s call pre-diabetes what it is: Stage 1 diabetes. Why? Because it is. Because health care providers need to take it seriously and not soft pedal it. Because policy makers must decrease the health care costs of diabetes now poised to bankrupt us. Costs have risen $70 billion in the past five years with no end in sight. Last year the U.S. spent $245 billion health care dollars on diabetes — the total GDP of Israel.

And, because for patients, hearing you have Stage 1 diabetes, like hearing you have Stage 1 cancer, has power and hope in it. The power of alarm to motivate behavior change — and the hope of remission if you do.

Four Stages of Type 2 Diabetes

Mentoring Program Links Parents to Help Kids

Are you a parent of a child newly diagnosed with diabetes? Are you a parent of a child who has been living with diabetes for years? The American Diabetes Association plans to bring both groups together with its parent-mentoring program.

Some local Association offices have offered parent mentoring before, but now a streamlined program will make it easier to match families based on the age of their children at diagnosis, type of diabetes, gender, and location, says Jennifer Puryear, director of youth and new patient initiatives. “Talking to another parent who has gone through the same things, and felt the same feelings, is sometimes even more comforting than a doctor saying your kid’s going to be OK,” Puryear says. Parents will be able to chat in person or via phone or video based on what works best for them, she adds.

Parents who are experienced in helping their children manage diabetes are encouraged to sign up to become mentors through the ADA’s online Volunteer Center ( Potential mentors will then work through their local offices to complete an application, receive online training, and pass a background check, before they’re matched with mentees.

Parents of newly diagnosed children can sign up for mentoring at or by filling out a form found in the ADA’s Everyday Wisdom kit, a resource for families of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Everyday Wisdom kits may be ordered at no cost at or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

It’s Clear: It’s Important to Care for Your Eyes!

Posted on May 28, 2013 by American Diabetes Association
May is Healthy Vision Month! You may have heard that diabetes causes eye problems and may lead to blindness. It’s true that people with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without it, and that the disease is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

Fortunately, most people with diabetes have nothing more than minor eye disorders. With regular checkups, you can keep minor problems minor. And if you do develop a major problem, there are treatments that often work well if you begin them right away.

Earlier this month, the American Diabetes Association released new research examining the level of awareness and understanding of eye health for people who are living with diabetes. The Diabetes Eye Health Study, which was funded by a grant from Genentech and conducted by Harris Interactive®, surveyed adults in the U.S. who are currently diagnosed with diabetes, and explored their level of awareness and concern about the relationship between diabetes and eye health.

The research found that while 96 percent of those surveyed were aware that diabetes could lead to blindness, 20 percent of those have not had an eye exam in the past 12 months—demonstrating that awareness does not always drive action when it comes to eye health. The study also suggests that people diagnosed with diabetes are not always aware of the recommended care to prevent eye complications associated with their diabetes.

If you have diabetes, it is critical that you receive an annual dilated eye exam to avoid complications and lower your risk of glaucoma, cataracts and other eye problems such as diabetic macular edema. In this simple procedure, an eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil, allowing a full view of the back of the eye.

Overdue for your annual eye exam? Don’t wait until things get blurry—schedule one today.

Visit to learn more about diabetic eye complications and eye care for people with diabetes.

5 Tips for Eating Healthfully at a Cookout

May 20, 2013 RSS Feed Print

Keri Glassman
Burgers, potato salad, sprinklers. For many Americans, Memorial Day is the beginning of warm and sunny times ahead. This weekend is also prime time for social events and backyard bashes – complete with plenty to eat. For me, summer seems to be the most challenging time to “go light” with food and maintain weight (let alone lose it, if that’s your goal) because we’re more apt to socialize, eat and drink. We all love summer parties, but they don’t have to wreak havoc on your diet. Here are a few tips to tackle a barbecue the right way:

● Fill up before you go. Go ahead, ruin your appetite before heading to the barbecue bash. You need a snack that provides satiety so you don’t show up half starved. And certainly don’t “hold out” on eating beforehand. Fasting all day in prep of a big barbecue is the worst thing you can do. You’ll slow down your metabolism and wind up overeating – a double whammy!

● Assess the situation when you arrive. Sometimes, your attitude going into the meal can make or break your barbecue experience. If you see spinach dip when you enter, you may think, “There’s nothing healthy here, and I might as well pig out.” Then you notice chicken skewers, shrimp cocktail, crudité and way more. Be patient, scope out the scene and then use what is available to create as proportioned a meal as possible.

● Try to skip that first drink. When you have your first drink before you even say hello to the guests, you’re probably off to an overindulgent night. You’ll end up consuming too many calories from alcohol, and then the effects of said alcohol may inhibit your willpower and make you consume too many calories from food, too.

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The Diabetes Belt

This part of the U.S. is the bull’s-eye in targeting type 2 diabetes
By Lindsey Wahowiak

Pat Higgins, who has type 2 diabetes and volunteers with the American Diabetes Association, has seen the diabetes population boom in Charlotte, N.C.

“In Charlotte alone, we have 165,000 people with diabetes,” she says, in a city of about 750,000. “In the community, to ‘have a little sugar,’ everybody considered that to be normal. That’s something you hear in the South in particular. I’m from the north [Chicago], and I didn’t hear that before.”

Charlotte is located on the edge of the “diabetes belt”—a geographic area of the United States where residents have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who live in other parts of the country. The ADA’s Charlotte office serves several counties in the belt. Within the diabetes belt, 11.7 percent of the population has diabetes—in some counties, that percentage can reach 13 percent. The national average is 8.5 percent.

The diabetes belt spans counties in most of the Southern states and reaches up through Appalachia. And, in general, it’s growing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). New counties are added; we let out the belt another notch yet it cannot contain the strain. The geographic area affected closely mirrors the “stroke belt,” and its population generally is more prone to developing not only diabetes but also other chronic diseases.

Amit Vora, MD, FACE, is a professor of endocrinology at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville and a practicing endocrinologist. In his practice, he sees how some of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes culminate in a kind of perfect storm. Vora cites an unhealthy food culture, few convenient or safe places to exercise, and an impoverished and poorly educated population—and all too often, he sees complications in patients who didn’t get diabetes care early or regularly.

“I saw a patient who came in with an A1C of 13 [percent],” he remembers. “I said, ‘Had you not been feeling well?’ The patient said, ‘Doctor, I haven’t been to any doctor. I don’t like to do that unless something’s broken.’ People just don’t go to the doctor.”

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Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Champions Federal Legislation Encouraging Schools to Stock and Administer Epinephrine

H.R. 2094 is a potentially life-saving bill introduced by Rep. Phil Roe and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, which encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors in case of life-threatening anaphylactic emergencies.

McLean, VA (PRWEB) May 23, 2013

Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) yesterday reintroduced the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094), legislation championed by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). This bill encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have on hand “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors, which is epinephrine that is not prescribed to a specific student but can be used for any student or staff member in an anaphylactic emergency. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can be fatal.
In addition to protecting those whose epinephrine auto-injector is not immediately accessible during a reaction, this legislation will help save the lives of those who experience an anaphylactic reaction and do not have a prescribed epinephrine auto-injector. Studies estimate that up to 25 percent of all epinephrine administrations that occur in the school setting involve individuals whose risk for allergy was unknown at the time of the event. In 2012, the National School Boards Association issued new food allergy guidelines recommending that schools stock epinephrine.
More than 20 states have laws or guidelines in place allowing schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors. The proposed federal legislation would provide an incentive for states to require schools to stock epinephrine.
“No child should die of an anaphylactic reaction because life-saving epinephrine is unavailable,” said John L. Lehr, chief executive officer of FARE. “This bill will help make millions of school children with food allergies safer. We are grateful to Dr. Roe and Mr. Hoyer for their leadership on this common sense legislation.”
The bipartisan bill was originally introduced in the 112th Congress in 2011. Sens. Durbin and Kirk introduced the bill in the Senate, while Reps. Roe and Hoyer introduced it in the House.
As a physician, Rep. Roe has seen the life-saving effects of epinephrine firsthand. He once saved the life of a landscaper working in his yard who had an anaphylactic reaction to an insect sting.
“I am proud to introduce the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act because this important legislation could save lives,” he said. “According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, roughly one in 13 children under age 18 have at least one food allergy. A systemic allergic reaction can kill within minutes. To prevent a fatal outcome, we need to make epinephrine auto-injectors available in our schools. You can never be too careful when protecting the life of a child and this legislation will ensure we’re taking every precaution we can to ensure children are safe should they have an allergic reaction at school. I want to thank Rep. Steny Hoyer for his support of and work on this bill.”
“For the nearly 6 million children in our country who suffer from food allergies, including my granddaughter, it’s vital that our schools have immediate access to emergency epinephrine in the event of an allergic reaction,” said Democratic Whip Hoyer. “That’s why I re-introduced legislation to encourage states to have epinephrine auto-injectors on hand in schools and to ensure that school personnel are trained to quickly respond to an emergency allergic reaction. I will work to enact this legislation so we may provide peace of mind to families across the country. I thank Food Allergy Research & Education for their endorsement of this bipartisan legislation and for their advocacy for life-saving measures at both the national and state levels.”
In addition to FARE, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine have endorsed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. Formed in 2012 as a result of a merger between the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network and the Food Allergy Initiative, FARE’s mission is to ensure the safety and inclusion of individuals with food allergies while relentlessly seeking a cure. We do this by providing evidence-based education and resources, undertaking advocacy at all levels of government, increasing awareness of food allergy as a serious public health issue and investing in world-class research that advances treatment and understanding of food allergies. For more information, please visit


May 22, 2013 by Allison Espiritu
Are you having a hard time remembering when to take your insulin? Whether it be at night or in the morning, we need to remember to take our insulin at the same time to get the most of what it offers us. But how do we make this task easier?

Watch as Dlife’s Certified Diabetes Educator, Joy Pape, gives us a few trick of the trade on taking insulin. From planning it with an activity you do daily to creating a reminder or alarm, these tips will make life easier to take your insulin and manage your diabetes!

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31 Tips for Parents – From Teens

For every day of Food Allergy Awareness Month, members of our Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) will be sharing tips for parents of allergic youth. The group worked hard on a diverse list of advice with the common theme of working with your child to prepare them to become responsible for their own allergies.

Our YAP members got creative with their tips and have taken various pictures of themselves holding signs displaying their advice. By putting faces to the information they hope parents will gain knowledge and insight from the campaign knowing that these are real tips coming from real youth.

The tips will be posted daily on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. Be sure to follow us in order to view all of the tips throughout the month. We encourage you to share these pictures across your networks so we can spread this helpful information far and wide. By the end of the campaign we will have all of the pictures available as a complete resource on and

Note – Tips will be released one per day for the entire month of May.

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Diet Soda: Good Or Bad For You?

Mar 7, 2013 by Dominika Osmolska Psy.D. for
Diet sodas and artificial sweeteners may not be the healthy alternatives to their regular counterparts that many people believe them to be. Two new studies out of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio suggest quite the contrary: artificial sweeteners may promote increased waistlines and insulin resistance.

One study focused on a population of elderly people, while a related study focused on the long-term impact of aspartame in mice.

The team first assessed data from 474 elderly Mexican Americans and European Americans. Diet soft drink users, as a group, experienced 70 per cent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Frequent users, who said they consumed two or more diet sodas a day, experienced waist circumference increases that were 500 per cent greater than those of non-users.

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May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month!

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” It’s a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate your patients, family, friends, co-workers and others about these diseases.

It’s easy for you to celebrate with us! AAFA invites you to use AAFA resources and tools to bring healthy messages to work, school and home.

Help Us Raise Funds for Research

May is a great time to help raise awareness and funds for asthma and allergic diseases. To get involved this May, start raising funds and awareness for asthma and allergies today! You can create an online fundraising page for AAFA through FirstGiving or plan an awareness month event in your area. Get a free Awareness Month Planning Kit from the EPA for tips.

Awareness Month Events

Here are a few events for 2013:

Sweepstakes—each month, AAFA hosts an online Sweepstakes to give away Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products. Visit to see what Sweepstakes are currently open!

Free Webinar—join our friends at Kids With Food Allergies on April 30 for a live discussion about why access to epinephrine in schools is important to children who are at risk for anaphylaxis. Find out what actions you can take now to promote appropriate use of epinephrine in schools. Click here to register for Epinephrine in Schools: What You Need to Know.|

Poster Contest—EPA would like to invite 3rd-8th graders in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin to participate in the Asthma Awareness Poster Contest which aims to promote asthma awareness among children, parents and school faculty. Students will create a drawing or painting that illustrates different aspects of the condition, including asthma management, triggers, and medication. All entries must be received by Friday, May 10. For more information see

Share your photos! Kids With Food Allergies, a division of AAFA, will be holding its annual “Faces of Food Allergies” awareness photo sharing campaign May 13-17 in partnership with Applegate Farms, Lucy’s cookies and Allermates. Families are invited to share their children’s photos enjoying life to show that their food allergies don’t hold them back. Visit to share your child’s photo and be eligible to win gifts from the sponsors.

Ditch the Drip—AAFA, along with three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor and Teva Respiratory will be in Memphis on May 16-18. Visit our Ditch the Drip booth at the Memphis in May International Festival to talk about nasal allergy awareness and enter to win a free Dyson vacuum!

Disney Vacations Fundraiser—From now until June 2013, mention “KFA” in your quote request for your Disney vacation and 4% of the total package price will be donated to KFA! Click here to book your trip today.

Dancing for a Cause—AAFA supporters at the Dayton Dance Conservatory are raising awareness and collecting funds for AAFA at their upcoming 37th Annual Late Spring Recital on June 9. Visit for more information.

Nominate a star! Show your appreciation to those who are helping raise awareness of severe allergies – celebrate them by including them in Sanofi’s Severe Allergy Awareness Hall of Fame! Sanofi US will donate $5 to advocacy organizations focused on severe allergies—including AAFA—up to a total of $100,000. Thank someone today!
If you have other activities you’d like us to post on this page, or if you would like information on how you can host an event or fundraise in your area, please contact Sanaz at or 202-974-1225 with your questions and ideas.

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