January 22, 2011

The Problem Side of Diabetes Forums

Since I was kind to diabetes forums, I just had to meet the bad side. When people with initials behind their name (titles) and others that must not contradict the position of their professional organizations get involved and state the position, they bring many thoughts that are not always the full truth into the discussion and leave people new to the forums wondering who is right.

I will admit I am very passionate about the issue of the medical community dismissing prediabetes. Part of the reason is from my prior blog here. The consensus does state that damage occurs earlier than previously thought. It is unfortunate that no actual determination has been made for the blood glucose levels when damage can be the most severe.

First, when a person openly disputes a doctor's request of a patient, this really upsets me. Granted in this case there is some potentially harmful information missing that those of us that posted did not ask for. In getting to the A1c of 5.7, we don't know what medications the original poster was taking. We also don't know the number of lows this person experienced, if any. We can only guess that the doctor knows the facts and when he suggests getting an A1c of 5.5 he knows that this is possible.

The medical community needs more doctors like this person and less people that quote ADA (and AADE) that A1c's of 6.5 being okay. That means that a blood glucose average of 140mg/dl which tells us that damage is being done. An A1c of 5.7 means a blood glucose reading of 117mg/dl. My reaction would be to pay attention to the doctor and ignore the rest. This is between the patient and doctor and is the individuals choice.

Having said that, there are people that should not try to get that low because they are unable to control their levels and have some dangerous lows when trying to get down below 6.0. This action needs to be done according to what the patient is capable of managing, desires to do, and if the patient keeps an open line of communication with a doctor. Even though this is on a diabetes forum, most of us suggest and most take it as such, people with titles behind their name often forget themselves and advise against doctors.

The second incident is where we seem to get a dismissal of the seriousness of prediabetes. Prediabetes is technically not diabetes, however, if the medical community continues to ignore the need to treat prediabetes with counseling and letting people know how serious this can become, they are taking a pass on their responsibilities.

There is much that can be done for people with prediabetes to assist them in taking advantage of this diagnosis and preventing the onset of diabetes. If they are medically capable they should begin exercise under a doctors direction and make some good lifestyle changes which will likely prevent diabetes for a number of years or possibly decades. Some will even prevent diabetes altogether.

For the blood glucose and A1c conversion table from the American Diabetes Association click here, and if you will be using it, bookmark the page.

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