A Most Embarrassing Question

Question

It’s fairly well known at work that I have Diabetes.  I get questions from time to time about the disease or about what I eat.  Some folks seem to think I eat only alfalfa sprouts, or the like – which is completely wrong!  My life with Diabetes is an open book, I really enjoy answering questions in the hope that it might prevent Diabetes for someone else.

And, then there was this question: “Does Diabetes just all of a sudden happen, or do you have some warning?”

Looking at the person asking the question for a moment, I considered the possible answers and did not like how I was going to be perceived.  But, what the heck, when in doubt, give ’em the truth.  So, I answered:

“About five years before I was diagnosed with Diabetes, I was told I had Prediabetes.  In most cases, Diabetes just doesn’t happen without warning.  Yes, there’s gestational Diabetes, but that goes away when the woman gives birth most of the time.”

“So, you were told you had Prediabetes.  What did you do? Can you do anything?”

“I did almost nothing.  Yeah, I knew what Diabetes was, but I didn’t do anything to reverse the Prediabetes, which can be done.  I did not exercise. lose weight or change my diet.”

My co-worker looked at me as if I were crazy…and justifiably so.  “Why didn’t you do something; anything to avoid Diabetes, if you could?”

I sat there silently.  I didn’t have a good answer.  So, I went with exactly what I was thinking when I was told I had Prediabetes; “I didn’t think it would happen to me.  I was wrong.”

“I can undertand that.  I’m sorry.”

“So am I.  I have learned that as sure as night follows day, Diabetes will follow Prediabetes.  It’s just that simple unless a few basic steps are taken with exercise and diet.”

Folks, I have learned the lesson the hardest way possible.  Learn from my mistake, and the mistake of millions of other Diabetics.  Diabetes will follow Prediabetes unless you fight it.  If you have been diagnosed with Prediabetes and are not fighting, start today.  Now.  Don’t wait until tonight or after lunch or tomorrow.  There’s a fight going on in your body at this moment; a fight that you can win if you just help it a bit.

How do you fight Prediabetes?  Exercise and Diet.  Thirty minutes a day; five days a week is all it takes.  Lose a bit of weight.  A loss of as little as 7 to 10% can make a huge difference.  Start eating a lower carb diet.

When I started my fight with Diabetes, I wasn’t even sure what a carbohydrate was – that’s how diet conscious I was at the time.  I quickly learned that carbs come from starchy foods like potatoes and rice, and our good friend sugar.  With the help of a dietician I learned very quickly what I should eat and what to avoid.  I listened and acted. My first diet restriction was to about 60 carbs per meal with snacks of 15 carbs.  I know a lot of you are on lower carb diets and eat many fewer carbs than that, but that worked for me and was quite a reduction from the 150 carb meals I was having.

A1c

How do you know if you have Prediabetes?  You get an A1c test from your doctor, or you can take them at home.  The number you get back from the test will determine if you have Prediabetes or Diabetes.  Prediabetes is diagnosed when the score comes back 6.0 to 6.5.  Anything greater than 6.5 and you will be diagnosed as a Diabetic.  If you have the symptoms listed here, get an A1c test done as soon as you can.

 

Prediabetes can be beat.  Diabetes can be controlled.  In order to do either, you must go to War On Diabetes.  You must declare your own war and win – because you can win!

You can do it.  I know it.

As always, thank you for reading.

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I am not a doctor or health professional. I am just a guy who is working everyday to control Type 2 Diabetes. My goal is to offer hope, help and solutions for day-to-day living for the diabetic. The disease can be controlled. It can be managed. And, you can do it!

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Posted in Exercise & Diet, Prediabetes
6 comments on “A Most Embarrassing Question
  1. Phil, in one way you where lucky to be warned you had pre diabetes I wasn’t told or warned at all.. One minute I was OK the next I was a diabetic… Apparently I did have pre diabetes but my doctor neglected to tell me this.. A bit late now but I have changed my doctor in the last month…

  2. Bridget29 says:

    Hi, I have a question regarding prediabetes. A few weeks ago I tested my blood glucose and the levels were normal, around 85-95 two hours after eating and 75 on an empty stomach. Today I decided to do a random check, and was surprised (actually shocked) to see my number was 101. It’s not much over 100, but gosh it freaked me out. I have to admit that I ate a lot of chocolate chip cookies yesterday (8 of them) and 6 of them today. According to my calculations, I ate around 60 g of sugar today. Is that too much? Do you think I should be worried? Am I at risk of prediabetes, or is it just a coincidence? Maybe it’s because I ate too much sugar these days, my blood glucose elevated…?

    • Bridget,

      I love questions about Prediabetes – it means you are paying attention and if there is a problem, you can catch it early. My first thought when I read your note was that I was really impressed that you checked your blood glucose level; I found it very interesting, too. I make the assumption, and perhaps wrong, that someone in your life is a Diabetic. But, you were asking about normal blood glucose levels.

      You are wonderfully normal…even on the low-side of normal. The Mayo Clinic has the easiest chart I found to understand and you can see it here: http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/articles/hottopics/transcripts/2009/2009-7a-hba1c/7a-4.html.

      Take a look at it and you will see that you are just fine. Having said that, you might want to re-think 14 cookies in less than 24 hours – that’s a lot and they will affect your testing results. But, even at that you came in at a pretty nice 101.

      To settle your mind about Prediabetes, see your doctor and get them to give you an A1c test. That’s the definitive test for Diabetes or Prediabetes. The results from the test can take anywhere from two to five days to get back to your doctor and then they will discuss them with you.

      The numbers you stated in your note are well within the normal range. Just watch the sugar as a matter of health.

      Thanks,
      Phil

      • Bridget29 says:

        Thanks for replying, I tested again later today after eating dinner and my blood glucose was 108. Hmm, it increased. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious.

      • Bridget,

        It’s my pleasure – after all, you took the time to ask a question.

        You don’t mention how long it was after dinner when you checked your glucose. Basic guidelines are two hours after you begin to eat – yes, begin – under 120 would be considered normal. So, if you were 108 and it was two hours after you began to eat, you are great. If it was three hours – you are doing well. And, it depends a lot on what you had to eat. A meal high in carbs and sugars will throw your numbers a bit higher for a bit; a meal that is lower in carbs and sugars will be reflected in a lower number.

        Bridget, I really do encourage you to get an A1c test done. Talk with your doctor and get one. They really should be done every two years if you are not a diagnosed Diabetic or Prediabetic. If you have Diabetes, then every three to six months. You can get an at-home test. Bayer puts one out and you can get a coupon on their website. Walmart has the lowest price I have seen – about $30 before coupon; CVS had the highest price when I checked – about $50 before coupon. Results can be a bit off – and sometimes they are right on the money. But, you should get a clear idea of what is going on. When it’s all said and done though, a test at a lab through your doctor is the best alternative.

        Thank you for your comment and for reading my little blog. Please keep me posted on your numbers.

        Phil

      • Bridget29 says:

        I tested 1 hour an a half after having dinner. My meals were all mainly carbs and sugar, so no wonder. I tested this morning again (fasting blood sugar) and my number came back 85. That put my mind at ease. Thank you for all the help, I appreciate it!

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