Do you think you might be diabetic? There are many ways to find out.
First of all, there are the lab tests. Conventional doctors have always checked a blood sugar at a conventional physical exam. (Before that, they checked urine for “sweetness” but that is another story that we really don’t want to even think about right now…)
Then, if the blood sugar suggested diabetes, they would look into it further and check a Hgba1c, the measure that diagnoses, from the sugar “coating” of your blood cells, what your blood sugar has been on average over the last 3 months.
Nowadays, however, the more investigative doctors are beginning to check an Hgba1c even before the suspicion is reached with other labs. They are looking at Hgba1c’s simply because they suspect diabetes from people who have bad habits, such as those who are obese, or report a sedentary lifestyle, or eat a predominantly carbohydrate-heavy 20th Century American diet. .
All those are reasons to ask yourself if you are pre-diabetic. But I have an even simpler one.
In fact, it is the first question I ask my patients if I am, or they are wondering if they might progress into that debilitating disease is this:
Are you American?
They always laugh and say with patriotism and pride: “Yyyeehhsss.”
“Well, then, my friend, you are pre-diabetic.”
It is not that diabetes is in our genes any more than it is in a Tibetan mountain man’s or a Malaysian fisherman’s genes. It is just in the habits of our current 21st Century culture. It is the culture of the Big Gulp, the Supersize, and carb, carbs, and more carbs. That is the cause of diabetes.
And what we eat wouldn’t be such a big deal if we burnt it off with exercise, like chasing a deer across the savannah, or planting and picking rice all day. Those people don’t get diabetes even if they eat starch all day. But watching TV and movies and sitting at a desk all day, that is a recipe for unmitigated, unused sugar in the bloodstream which leads to the damage caused by too much of a good – or bad – thing.
One again, the best recipe for avoiding diabetes, especially if you show any of these signs of pre-diabetes, is
Incidentally, the high carbohydrate diet also leads to high cholesterol. There are many studies that show that high fat diets do NOT lead to high cholesterol. That is true especially if the fats are good fats. Good fats in the diet, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive, coconut, sesame, and sunflower oil, actually decrease cholesterol levels.
So see my blogs on supplements, see my recipes in other places, follow the recipes on www.newdiabetesrx.com, and pick your parents well.
Paul Berger, MD is a board-certified Family Practitioner in Boulder, Colorado. He is also board-certified and is a Founding Diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine as well as a former Board Member of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Berger lives in Boulder with his family where they are all very involved in their local community.