I’m not referring to your demeanor.
Have you checked your blood glucose results? Have you even seen a doctor for a while, to have a routine blood screening? Do you accept the comment from the MD’s office that everything is “fine”? You may want to spend a little extra time going through your values with a healthcare provider. Not every professional is interested in disease prevention rather than just “putting out fires” as they come.
Diabetes occurs when your body does not process glucose properly. Sugar builds up in the bloodstream instead of fueling the cells. This occurs when your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or your cells become resistant to the action of insulin. Sugar comes from the foods we eat like sweets and carbohydrates. Genetics plays a large role in the development of diabetes as well.
What is not always addressed is pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is when the blood glucose level is too elevated but not high enough to diagnose as diabetes. It is also referred to as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose. There are a few different tests to distinguish if you have pre-diabetes.
The exact cause of pre-diabetes is unknown but definite risk factors are family history, abdominal obesity and poor lifestyle habits. Along with controlling other risk factors like tobacco use, hypertension and cholesterol, monitoring glucose levels is very important. While not everyone with pre-diabetes becomes diabetic, many do.
Diabetes is very harmful and leads to problems with heart disease, stroke and nerve damage.
One of the major challenges, is that pre-diabetes can go on for many years without any symptoms. You can have this problem without knowing it. Much of the damage to your cardio and nerve system begins in this stage.
Research shows that by managing your blood glucose at the pre-diabetes stage, you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
The message to take here is that “fine” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Find out what your blood glucose value is and if you have pre-diabetes. Now is the time to intervene, when you can make the necessary changes to delay the progression of the disease. Be your own patient advocate and be pro-active. Maybe you shouldn’t be so sweet!
Rachel Shaffer, RN