Diabetic Epidemic

According to Wikipedia before 1922 children who were diagnosised with diabetes were devastated with an illness that had no cure. It was a disease most commonly found in children and it’s effects on families were devastating.  Imagine if today when you found out you had diabetes that you would only have a short time to live, days to months at best.  Today we have the benefits of insulin to manage diabetes as a chronic disease instead of a signal of death. An interesting insert from Wikipedia portrays the scenerio of diabetes when the first shot of insulin was injected. A hospital ward in the 1920’s could hold over 50 children in comas with their family grieving at their bedside as they were destined to die.  Then the miracle of insulin was injected into the first child.  It is recorded in Wikipedia that the Doctor “went from bed to bed, injecting an entire ward with the new purified extract.  Before they had reached the last dying child, the first few were awakening from their comas, to the joyous exclamations of their families”.  How lucky we are today to have such a miracle drug that provides life and longevity.

Currently 10 % of the United States population has a diagnosis of diabetes, including over 25% of seniors.  So if you are going to get older it is likely you will develop diabetes.  An ounce of pervention would be to watch your weight and exercise.  Why watch your weight?  85% of people with type 2 diabetes are classified as overweight or obese.

What can you do to stop the epidemic?  Get active, know your risk factors, and weight yourself.  Diabetes is more common in the obese population.  It can also be genetic.  People of different ethnicities are more likely to develop diabetes like African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Asian Americans.  If you have had a history of diabetes with a pregnancy you also have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Why is this such a concern?  Diabetes in and of itself does not “kill” you if you catch it early and treat it to goal. It does weaken your body over the years and damages your inner organs.  The kidneys get weak, the arteries to the heart and brain can become damaged, the vision of the eyes deteriorate, and circulation to your feet diminshes.

What can you do?  Get a blood sugar check if you have any risk factors for diabetes.  Learn about carbohydrates, the white stuff, that causes an elevation in your blood sugar.  Carbohydrates are in all the foods you like.  Carbohydrates are popular in our favorite foods, consider chips, potatoes, sugary foods and drinks, pasta, bread, rice as well as many other foods.  That means to say no to the supersize meal (2 breads, fries, and a sugary drink)—-yuk!!  Make a conscious effort to stay well as you age by watching your food craze.  Keep out of the sweets.  Get back to eating and drinking more water, fruits, and vegetables.

Checking your blook sugars is very important.  It means you are in the game of keeping yourself healthy.  Many people complain about the cost of the stirps.  PLEASE dont let the cost of strips give you an excuse to die early from uncontrolled diabetes.

1.  Call your insurance and see which meter is covered on your plan.

2.  Ask the pharmacist for generic glucometer stips then buy the glucometer that goes with it.

3.  Your goals for your blood sugar are fasting first thing in the morning 80-110.  2 hours after a meal your blood sugar should be less than 180.

See the American Diabetes website for great information and goal setting for your diabetic health.

http://www.diabetes.org/

Be sure to get tested at the office.  If you do develop diabetes please know your numbers, check your numbers, watch your diet, loose weight, see your provider regularly.  It is recommended that you come in every three months to monitor your hemoglobin A1C, a three month avergae of your blood sugars.

At every office visit bring in your medications and your glucometer.

See you at the office.