Diabetes

Eight years ago, I went for a blood pull early in the morning. I was instructed to eat nothing and only have plain water, coffee or tea starting at ten o’clock at night until after the blood extraction the next day. So I decided the day before the procedure that I would have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner as that could well tide me over until I ate my next bite at breakfast after the blood was drawn.

Two days later, my MD phoned me and he did not sound happy. In fact, he seemed a bit grouchy.

He told me then that my blood test results had come to him and he knew about my meal the night before having my blood taken. Then he went on to mention, much to my surprise, that it was spaghetti and meatballs.

The disturbing part of his overall statement was that my choice in food that night almost threw me into the prediabetic range in terms of my blood sugar level. Moreover, this happening didn’t please him one bit and he went on to explain to me about poor dietary choices.

In his discussion of them, he mentioned that white flour was implicated in causing diabetes. Therefore people should mostly eat vegetable or whole grain noodles, breads, rolls and other foods often made largely or entirely with white flour. He next went on to inform me that lots of corn and corn meal, white potatoes and white processed rice were pretty much unacceptable to eat.  In addition, sugar is a well recognized culprit in creating the disease regardless of whether the form involves fructose, juice, soda, ice cream, fruit, corn syrup, candy or whatever else.

Further he did not say that one needs to rigidly give up these foods and drinks in entirety. All the same, they shouldn’t be a common or frequent staple in anyone’s meals, drinks or snacks.

Then he went on to share that lack of vigorous exercise occurring at least three times per week and a high body weight in relation to height are also factors that make diabetes more possible. Probably, in my opinion, stress does, too.

Yet in terms of consumption, the main problem is that carbohydrates are most of the time cheap to buy. So many people, especially financially poor people, rely on them almost exclusively. In fact, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) declared that eighty-eight million adults in the USA have prediabetes and that means one in three grownups.

Meanwhile, I had read some years ago that U.S. children had approximately a one in four chance of getting diabetes. In all when American children and adults are combined, the number of diabetics are a bit over one in ten people or 34.2 million in the U.S.

Of that number, “New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin than non-Hispanic Asians and non-Hispanic whites.

  • “For adults diagnosed with diabetes:
    • “New cases significantly decreased from 2008 through 2018.
    • “The percentage of existing cases was highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives.
    • “15% were smokers, 89% were overweight, and 38% were physically inactive.
    • “37% had chronic kidney disease (stages 1 through 4); and fewer than 25% with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease (stage 3 or 4) were aware of their condition.
  • “New diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes have significantly increased among US youth.
  • “For ages 10 to 19 years, incidence of type 2 diabetes remained stable among non-Hispanic whites and increased for all others, especially non-Hispanic blacks.
  • “The percentage of adults with prediabetes who were aware they had the condition doubled between 2005 and 2016, but most continue to be unaware.

“More people are developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes during youth, and racial and ethnic minorities continue to develop type 2 diabetes at higher rates. Likewise, the proportion of older people in our nation is increasing, and older people are more likely to have a chronic disease like diabetes. By addressing diabetes, many other related health problems can be prevented or delayed.”

— From the CDC “National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020”

A few months ago, one of my relatives went for a consultation to the person who is considered to be the top dietitian in the U.S. From her was learned that my diet of eight years is currently in vogue amongst many of her fellow dietitians despite that a relatively small number of people know about it.

In addition, she said that one can put very small, uncooked, new potatoes in a refrigerator for forty-eight hours to remove the starch from them. It is a recently known potato fact and certainly was not realized at the time that I learned about the diet.

To me, it is far easier to eat sensibly than to have to possibly deal with any of the problems associated with this affliction. Indeed the problems can be quite serious and include loss of one or both legs, increasing inability to see, a grow lack of being able to manually hold onto objects and other symptoms as the disease can surely progress to get worse over time unless handled.

Certainly one can check out diabetes information for any country. For example, the number of people with diabetes in India is  considered to be roughly 40 million. This being the case makes India the country with the most diabetics in the whole world. Further IGT (Impaired Glucose Tolerance) is a growing problem in that nation.

In the end, diabetes is a serious ailment regardless of the country in which any person dwells. It can cause diverse and awful predicaments. If left to go unchecked, it can even lead to death as I well know since my paternal grandmother died relatively young from it. So do yourself and loved ones a favor. Get checked for diabetes and have them do so, too. Then make meaningful dietary and lifestyle changes if needed.

Sally Dugman lives in MA, USA.


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