Excellent information abounds from the American Diabetes Association and the National Institutes of Health. Nevertheless, diabetes is a complicated disease and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with information.
Travis Johnson’s Stock Gumshoe website is mainly devoted to selling his newsletter that researches and comments on the mountains of “hot stock tips” that stuff our mailboxes. However, Johnson also hosts articles by medical journalist Michael Jorrin, whom Johnson dubs “Doc Gumshoe.” And those medical articles – thank you, Mr Johnson! – do not require a subscription to the Gumshoe newsletter.
Charles South called my attention to a pair of excellent articles on diabetes by Doc Gumshoe that I found to be very informative as well as a great resource. This is one of those cases where the articles themselves are so great that I have nothing to add to them. I want to say just enough to tell you what’s there, and encourage you to go to the sources for the full story.
These are the two articles by Michael Jorrin:
– Diabetes Part 1: The Why and the What of Diabetes Management
– Diabetes Part 2: Where is the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Heading?
What I learned from Diabetes Part 1:
What Jorrin calls “basic points”:
– Diabetes is growing, most especially with younger and poorer people.
– The largest risk in treating diabetes is poor cooperation by the patient, because many patients just do not follow directions.
– If diabetes is diagnosed early, its patients can lead an almost-completely-normal life; unfortunately, this does not occur with many people.
– Once diabetes takes hold in a person, especially a young person, a single type of medical treatment will not be enough: it will have to be ramped up over time to keep up with the disease.
The elevated blood sugar caused by diabetes is toxic to many organs: the eyes, nerves, kidneys and the blood vessels.
The best diabetes prevention is an annual physical checkup with basic blood work, to catch diabetes early on. However, measuring blood sugar (glucose) is an unreliable way to diagnose diabetes because it fluctuates so much. It’s much better to measure “glycated hemoglobin” (HbA1C) in the blood, which averages blood glucose over a one-month period.
The most dangerous causes of diabetes are refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice and sugar.
Sugary soft drinks are especially harmful for two reasons:
– The sugar enters the bloodstream immediately, before the body can respond with insulin from the pancreas, which takes about two minutes.
– It takes solid food to trigger an insulin response; if sugary drinks are taken alone, the pancreas doesn’t react at all and the impact on the body is even worse.
Diabetes Part 2 focuses on treatments, and which drug companies might be good investment bets. Since I am neither a diabetes patient nor a potential investor in pharma stocks, Part 2 was less useful for me.
Is a diabetes test (blood sugar or preferably, HbA1C) part of your annual physical? In fact, when was your last physical exam?
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