We want to welcome and congratulate you for joining our new series or articles for diabetes and metabolic syndrome. On this forum, we will discuss diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin resistance and syndrome x, more recently known as metabolic syndrome.
You’re probably thinking, “Why do I need to read about diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and metabolic syndrome if they are not all relevant to me? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to read about each one separately by its individual specialist?” However, after finishing this article, you too will agree that all these subjects should be addressed as one.
I believe that this forum has a big advantage over support groups because there is no shame involved. You can read and absorb important information without the fear of not knowing who will enter the room and discover that you have these issues.
I was recently at a gathering where I witnessed someone eating food that he and I knew was really bad for him. He was ashamed not to eat it because of the person next to him who might find out that he is unhealthy. The truth was that the person next to him ate the unhealthy food because of the same reason! He too was following a special diet but was embarrassed to admit it.
My goal in writing this series is to create an awareness that will reach enough of the population to take away the stigma. People will finally start taking their health more seriously and change to a better lifestyle.
The truth is that there is a very big population who desperately needs this information. Recent statistics show that twenty-seven million Americans suffer from Type II Diabetes. (We’re discussing Type II Diabetes. Type I Diabetes isn’t relevant to most people. It affects less than 5% of diabetics. My primary focus in these articles is for type II which as I mentioned previously affects over 27 million people.) If all these people knew that they have diabetes, it would’ve solved half of the problem. They would know to be careful. Today however, one-third of these people don’t even know that they have diabetes! This is extremely dangerous! Millions of people have a serious disease and they aren’t even aware of it, which is what makes it so important to spread the word. I am therefore appealing to everyone and that is YOU too! Maybe YOU have diabetes and you don’t know it?!
The sad reality is that this isn’t even all of it. Besides these 27-million, there are additional 40-million who cannot yet be clinically diagnosed with diabetes but they have enough issues to be diagnosed with pre-diabetes which means that they too are following the same road and are very close to encountering diabetes.
On top of that, diabetes is now found in young children as well. Type II diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes but unfortunately, we find it in young children these days more and more. Not so long ago, young children who were diagnosed with diabetes only had type I. Today, one fifth of kids who are diagnosed have adult-onset type II. This greatly concerns the medical institutions who are continually discussing what could be done to stop such young children from having diabetes. It is important to emphasize that if you look at these kids, 90% of them, will have at least one parent who also has diabetes.
I am therefore addressing these 21,000,000 diabetics and 40,000,000 pre-diabetics. How many children do you have? These children are all at risk of becoming diabetic! That is an enormous amount of individuals who I hope to inspire to take the right steps and I encourage you to continue to learn because knowledge is power! This knowledge will hopefully empower you to choose a SWEET LIFE over death caused by sweets!
Economically speaking, Americans spend over $57 Billion, to treat diabetes and its complications. That doesn’t even include the personal costs of these individuals such as lost jobs, etc. Imagine what we could’ve done with 57 billion dollars if these people were leading a better and healthier lifestyle. It could’ve probably covered all costs to support unfortunate young widows and orphans. I am certain though, that it could’ve prevented many of them from becoming widowed and orphaned in the first place. We wouldn’t have heard of so many young people who died suddenly of heart attack and strokes.
So what is METABOLIC SYNDROME? Usually people won’t suffer from diabetes alone. It will come together with a cluster of other ailments. People will have one or more of these issues. Sometimes it starts with one problem many years before and later the rest of the issues surface. The typical diseases of this cluster is diabetes, blood pressure, lipid problems (which means that the bad cholesterol, LDL, will be too high and the good cholesterol, HDL, will be too low) high triglycerides, heart problems and obesity. Most people don’t link these issues together. They think that coincidently, they happen to have all of these diseases. Then they will take individual medications for each issue separately. Often these people seem to have an entire pharmacy in their homes; several pills for diabetes, blood pressure pills, cholesterol pills, heart pills, etc. Let’s think about this realistically. Is it really coincidence that they have the same issues all at once? Is it possible that so many people have the same set of issues and they aren’t linked one to the other? Let’s also think what’s causing these issues. If we look at each one separately, we would think that the blood pressure came from consuming too much salt and the solution is to reduce or avoid salt. The lipid problems came from eating egg yolks and fatty meat and if we avoid eating these foods, the lipid issue will disappear. Diabetes comes from junk food and sweet sodas and cutting down on these will resolve this as well. Obesity comes from eating too many calories and the solution for this will be to follow a low-fat diet. Is it really possible that there are so many people who overeat on exactly the same foods? It does seem that there is one underlying cause that triggers these diseases but what is it really?
If salt was the issue, then cutting it out of the diet wouldn’t only solve the blood pressure issue, it would’ve solved the other issues as well; the diabetes, cholesterol, etc. would be healed. The fact is that this isn’t the case and this was a mystery to the medical world for many years. They grouped all the disease together and called it syndrome x. Luckily, we now know much more about it. Today it is called metabolic syndrome. Truthfully, the name metabolic syndrome isn’t much relevant to the patient. It is mostly useful to doctors when billing their patient’s insurance. But what is relevant for you is that these ailments are all related and linked to each other.
To better understand it, think of an iceberg. An iceberg could be deep and wide many miles. When an inexperienced sailor sees only the tips of an iceberg, he is unaware to be alarmed. He might make a naive decision to sail between these tips not realizing that beneath the surface they are connected into one large piece and it is impossible to avoid hitting his ship into it. So too, a knowledgeable doctor knows that all these diseases are only the tips of the iceberg and beneath them is a deeper issue which needs to be addressed to solve the whole problem.
What you can learn right now is this. If you have any of these above-mentioned issues, even one of them, be aware to suspect the others and request a thorough check-up from your physician frequently. For example, a person who suffers from obesity and blood-pressure should often be examined for elevated cholesterol and diabetes as well. Hopefully you now realize that there is no such a thing as “mild” diabetes. The “mild” is only the tip of the iceberg that you are currently seeing but it clearly indicates a more serious issue beneath the surface.
90% of the people who have diabetes are being treated by their general doctor. They don’t see an endocrinologist or any specialist. Experience has shown that many general doctors inform their patients when they have diabetes, advise them to be careful with their diet and they might even prescribe them medication BUT they don’t provide them with a diabetic monitor home kit to monitor their blood glucose level. Not utilizing this vital tool to be able to measure the blood sugar level is a disaster! When the doctor says “I’ll see you in three months,” that is absolutely not sufficient enough! The patient needs to be responsible for himself and cannot rely only on seeing his doctor in three months! A responsible patient who cares about her or his health and life needs to be more aggressive.
I want to do what it takes to be healthy!
I am ready to do it!
I want to have a blood glucose monitor kit in my house!
I want to be able to see what my numbers are!
I want to be able to see if what I’m doing or taking is effective enough in treating my diabetes!
Am I doing enough?
Do I need to do more?
Do I need to do less?
Please provide me with a prescription for a blood sugar tester!
Then there are people who own a blood glucose meter but all it is accomplishing is collecting dust. Once a year during spring cleaning they remove it from the shelf, take off the dust and return it. Obviously, doing that is useless. The blood sugar monitor needs to be handy together with the blood sugar test strips and lancets. It should be used. It should be placed where it will be noticed to remind you to use it.
The diabetic monitor is made to benefit you. If you make use of it, it will be very helpful to inform you if you are doing the right steps to take care of your health or if you need to do something differently.
Then there are people who were either told so or they didn’t understand well or they didn’t want to understand, and they check their blood sugars once a day. Often people will say, “My blood sugar is good.” When they are asked what times they check, they say, “every morning”. I beg of you, checking blood sugar once a day is far from enough. Blood sugar levels fluctuate. It goes up and down and changes from one hour to the next. When you check in the morning it only shows your blood sugar for that moment. In essence, you are checking one minute out of 1,044 minutes. I won’t tell you to check a thousand times a day but the lesson to take from this is that we need a picture of the entire day.
How is it in the morning?
How is it before noon?
How is it in the afternoon?
How is it at night?
We have to see the entire picture to know if what we do whether it is diet, whether it is medication, whether it is a natural approach, whatever it is, is it enough or do I need to do something else?
For a full description when one should check their blood sugar and what numbers to expect during different times of the day see our post on “When to Check Your Blood Glucose Levels“. Also coming up soon: Metabolic Syndrome – What is the REAL underlying cause? Meanwhile,
1-GET A BLOOD GLUCOSE MONITOR KIT
2-USE A BLOOD GLUCOSE MONITOR
3-USE YOUR BLOOD GLUCOSE MONITOR SEVERAL TIMES DAILY
I’d like to conclude by reminding you that each and every body reacts differently to various treatments, which emphasizes my previous point again, how important it is to have a blood glucose monitor kit. In the medical world there are two types of diabetes but I say that there are 27-million types of diabetes. With that in mind, we will continue to bring you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions regarding your wellness.
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Please consult your physician for medical questions.