In my post last week, I discussed the large and important contribution of genetic background towards the tendency to develop type 2 diabetes or obesity. Since that time, I’ve had a couple of people ask me whether there is any point to undertaking lifestyle intervention (ie changes in eating patters and/or activity) if their genetics have already dictated that they are going to have a lifelong struggle with these conditions.
As I noted last week:
While it is true that eating well and exercising are the cornerstones of the management of type 2 diabetes, and can certainly improve diabetes control, it is not possible for most people with diabetes to make it go away with these lifestyle changes.
This week I would like to bring the focus to the first part of this statement – ie, that lifestyle changes can certainly improve diabetes control, and improve obesity as well. Just about everyone with type 2 diabetes or weight struggles can see some improvement with permanent lifestyle change. How much improvement that is seen is going to depend on several factors, including:
- For those who struggle with their weight or eating patters: Have the root causes of that struggle been addressed? (emotional eating, depression, medications causing weight gain, untreated sleep apnea…. the list of possibile contributors is long)
- What is the degree of motivation to change?
- What permanent lifestyle interventions have been undertaken, and are they in line with the genetically determined tendencies and ethnic/cultural considerations of the patient?
The key in maximizing lifestyle success is in finding the form, or forms, of permanent lifestyle change that work for you – the bulk of this blog is dedicated to just that, in an attempt to help provide you lots of different lifestyle options to try on your journey towards permanent lifestyle change. And don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare providers for help – remember, there is no shame.
Dr Sue Pedersen www.drsue.ca © 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
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