November is National Diabetes Month.
- 8% of USA diagnosed with Type II Diabetes
- 35% of USA considered “Prediabetic”
- If those people with prediabetes don’t make lifestyle changes, they’ll go on to develop type II diabetes within the next four years.
Basic Terms for Diabetes:
- Pancreas – the organ that contains b-cells.
- B-cells – the cell that produces insulin. These do not regenerate.
- Insulin – the hormone that opens your cells to “put away” the sugar in your blood stream. This is responsible for lowering your blood sugar back to normal after a meal.
- Type I Diabetes – an autoimmune disorder destroys all b-cells.
- Type II Diabetes – Insulin resistance, decreased b-cell production, and excessive hepatic glycogen release.
- Hepatic glycogen release – the glucose released from your liver.
Phases of Diabetes: What does “Prediabetic” Mean?
There are three main phases of diabetes:
- Phase 1 – insulin resistance and decreased insulin sensitivity, followed by a compensatory hypersecretion of insulin. (A.K.A. LOW BLOOD SUGAR, HYPOGLYCEMIA)
- Phase 2 – impairment of pancreatic b-cell (they make insulin) secretion of insulin produces an abnormal rise in postmeal and fasting glucose levels (A.K.A. PREDIABETES, SLIGHTLY HIGH BLOOD SUGARS, BORDERLINE DIABETES)
- Phase 3 – Overt diabetes due to progressive impairment of b-cell insulin secretion and lack of insulin sensitivity accompanied by increased hepatic glucose production (A.K.A. TYPE II DIABETES)
One of the classic statements from my patients, “I don’t have diabetes. I have prediabetes.” OR “I don’t have problems with diabetes, I actually have the opposite problem. I’m hypoglycemic.”
If they understood the phases of diabetes, they would understand how silly they sound when they say those things. It’s all connected. It’s all involved in the same progression.
If you’re HYPOGLYCEMIC, BORDERLINE DIABETIC, PREDIABETIC, or experiencing ELEVATED BLOOD SUGARS – you’re on the road to diabetes. It’s like being pregnant. It may not be obvious at first, but the baby is coming.
Don’t waste time denying you have a problem.
If you’re diabetic, prediabetic, or hypglycemic, get some help controlling it in the early stages. By making changes early, you can delay the need to start diabetic medications and prevent diabetic complications.
Ask your doctor to check an A1C or a fasting blood sugar to find out for sure.