Yes folks, it’s time for Lizzy to have another hissy-fit. The subject today is the term “pre-diabetes” which in my estimation is like the term “being a little bit pregnant”!!!
This term is used by the medical establishment much to the detriment of many diabetics who interpret the term to be that they really aren’t diabetic, just close to it.
Along with the diagnosis they’re usually given the great advise to : “not eat anything white(what about cauliflower?), lose weight, and exercise”, and they won’t get full-blown diabetes. These are real “detailed” instructions, if they’re given at all.
This is wrong in so many ways. First, if your numbers have reached these levels you are for all intents and purposes diabetic, and perhaps have been so for quite a long time. Here’s a chart:
So if your A1C is 5.6 or less you’re not diabetic and if it’s 5.7 or more you are “pre” diabetic? And if your fasting number is less than 100 you aren’t but more than 100 you are “pre” diabetic? If after 2 hours of an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) your numbers are more than 140 you are, less than you are not? Come on, let’s get real! If your numbers have reached those levels you have a metabolic problem no matter what it’s called and if you don’t start acting as though you are truly diabetic in a short amount of time you will officially be!!!
I know, I know, years back having a diabetic diagnosis meant job discrimination and inability to obtain medical insurance or even life or other types of insurance. Things have changed (not nearly enough) regarding those issues. So why are they still promoting the wearing of blinders for people.
I’ve talked with literally thousands of people over the last 10+ years on this issue, and for the most part people never take this diagnosis as seriously as they should. I’ve seen them say such things as:
”I cut out all sugar and white stuff, only eat whole grains, I lost 30 pounds and exercise 3 times a week, why am I still pre-diabetic (or why was I diagnosed as diabetic now)?” or:
“My fasting number is under 100 and my A1C is 5.7, how can I be pre-diabetic?” or for the ones who actually test:
“My 2-hour after meal numbers are always under 180(!!!!) so how can I be pre-diabetic still?”
I’ll address these questions from the bottom up:
Often by the time a 2-hour number is reached it come way down from numbers 200+, that’s why we say test for your “peak” or highest number. Multiply these high numbers by 3 or even four or more times a day and there you have the answer. Also no non-diabetic would ever have a number of 180 no matter what they ate!
Often fasting numbers are the last to become higher. Way before it shows in the fasting numbers the meal numbers can be through the roof. Unless you test at these times you’d never know this. Many people only test fasting numbers and think they’re fine. High meal-time numbers can keep the A1C higher, every number counts to a certain extent.
Whole grains have as many carbs as white bleached grains. They have a little fiber and are better for you nutritionally, but the carbs are the same. Also, sugar is just a carb like any other carb. Losing weight (if you need to) can help cut down on insulin resistance, but it doesn’t “cure” diabetes, no matter what you’ve heard in the media, it’s just not true! I’ve even heard where some doctors tell people if they lose weight they won’t be diabetic anymore. Five times a week is better for glucose control than 3 times a week. It doesn’t have to be heavy exercise, even walking will work.
To truly control the numbers you must limit carbs and control the amount and timing. That’s the fact. Cutting out sugar and white stuff might help a little, but eating a plate of whole grain pasta and fruit for dessert will spike the numbers just as much as a piece of cake. The carbs must be controlled.
Now I must mention the fact that unless a doctor specialized in diabetes they might know little more than the average person about it. It’s the luck of the draw whether your PCP or General doctor is really all that knowledgeable about diabetes. Many of them even believe the media myths (just be the biggest loser!) and even statements from diabetes organizations such as the ADA (yes, they promote the myths as well sorry to say). And they know even less about diets! The average doctor receives only about 4 hours of nutritional study during their entire training unless they specialize. Many people don’t realize this and think their doctor knows all about nutrition and diets. I might also add that many of them “think” they know a lot more than they in fact do know!
The only way to avoid a diagnosis of full diabetes is to live as though you already have one. That included testing, carb control, weight loss, exercise, and all of the other techniques that control the numbers. And you must maintain these controls for a lifetime.
Otherwise you’re just a ticking time-bomb. Now that’s the real truth. It’s also why I so object to the term “pre-diabetes”. I really think they should call it “early diabetes” and give people the real knowledge to control it. But then again that doesn’t make good headlines or sell snake oil books or programs or supplements or………..
You get the point.
End-rant (for now )
© EMO 5/12
Knowledge is Power