It’s pretty clear that the percentage of the US population that is prediabetic is startlingly high. But of course, this does not apply to you, right? Better rethink that.
I won’t repeat my belief that the diabetic spectrum is the worst thing that the human physiology experiences (oops…I guess I just did). But this article isn’t about the horrendously high risk to your long term health that the diabetic spectrum produces, but rather just how common it is.
With my depth of understand into diabetes, it doesn’t take much time for me to decide if someone is headed towards diabetes. Looking at a new patient’s health history, family history and the patient’s body type is usually enough. Rarely, an additional tidbit from the patient is needed (very poor dietary habits despite a lean body type, high stress, etc..). Labwork usually just confirms what I was already suspecting.
Labs are an interesting phenomena. I’ve had patients over the years (usually male) who are genuinely afraid of having labs drawn. I think this stems from the environment we have created in medicine. In medicine today labs are run to find something wrong. It’s just a matter of time before something on them is going to come back abnormal. In our office, if we run labs, we’re trying to find out just how well that patient is living for his or her genetic structure.
When I look to evaluate the diabetic spectrum, I am not merely looking at blood glucose or HbA1c. Rather, I’m looking at liver enzymes (AST, ALT), GGT, the entire lipid panel, urinary microalbuminuria levels and uric acid levels. It’s about stepping back and looking at the whole picture.
When your doctor is able to understand how all of these lab values create a picture that combines with your body type, heritage and family history–this is when the true picture of whether or not you are headed to diabetes or not and just how fast you’re moving on that path.
So why the diatribe? Of course, it relates to this particular article.
In this article, the CDC looks at the problem with prediabetes. In 2010, a whopping ONE-THIRD of the US population was prediabetic. All of this is ok, because once someone realizes that they are on the path to diabetes, he or she can make the lifestyle changes needed to divert the diabetic diagnosis (which can be read in my free downloadable ebook, Dr. Bogash’ Lifestyle Recommendations).
But how many of you walking around fall into this 1/3 statistic but don’t know it?
Are you sitting down?
89%. Yes—only a mere 11% of the prediabetic population were even aware that they were prediabetic.
On the bright side, this is up from 7% in 2005. What a mess.
This is like having all the risks of being a smoker, but not knowing that you’re a smoker. That is the problem. It’s not like this unaware population is doing ok, and it’s merely a fact that, at some point in the future, they are likely to become diabetic.
Being prediabetic is in no way, shape or form a benign process. It is just as bad for you as diabetes, maybe even more so because the vast majority of people who are prediabetic are not aware of it.
Maybe it’s time to take a very hard look at yourself. Carrying even a little too much weight around the middle? Cholesterol or triglycerides too high? Skip breakfast on a regular basis? Stressed out all the time? Have’t had your heart rate over 120 in years?
Don’t rely on your doctor to tell you. I’ve seen way too many cases over the years where patients were clearly on their way to diabetes but the primary care doctor did not inform the patient that this was the case.
If any of this even might fit you, it’s time to make some changes. Today. With the massive increase in heart attacks, cancer and stroke, tomorrow may be too late.