August 20, 2016

What a Doctor Doesn't Say Could Be Important

This is a topic of some consternation among several of our members. We have two potential new members that are saying that the doctor told them they were 'normal.' However, when looking at the lab reports, which they did receive, we can see that their health is in jeopardy.

The fasting blood glucose reading for one individual was 146, but the A1c was 6.0 percent. This indicates to us that the pancreas is already in trouble when the fasting blood glucose level is 146 mg/dl. The total lipid panel was listed as over 300, but the HDL (good cholesterol) was 64. The triglyceride reading was 162 and the LDL reading was 95. Several other tests were just listed as high and gave no other information. Ranges were not listed for any of the tests. The second individual did not want to show us his lab reports, but said they were near the same.

When Allen compared the lab report of the first individual to his last VA readings, he was very concerned. Then he took his lab report and went to see the second individual. He had to cajole the person into letting him see his lab report. Allen would only say that his A1c was 6.4 percent and all the other readings were not good.

When we heard that, we asked if we needed to have them see another doctor. We all agreed that should be our goal and Barry said he would work with the first individual and Allen said he would work with the second person. Tim said he would talk to Dr. Tom and find out if he would see them.

Everything happens for a reason and both individuals agreed and Dr. Tom saw them the next day. Tim reported that both individuals were shocked when they had the lab reports explained to them and what each area meant. Dr. Tom explained that the lab reports were tailored to what their doctor wanted them to see and were not the lab reports they should receive. He had the correct format with what should be shown and he explained what they were missing. When asked if what the doctor told them was correct, Tim said Dr. Tom told them they were okay, but facing potentially serious health conditions. He said they were healthy, but not where they should be and urged them to change some lifestyle habits.

Since neither was seriously overweight, they should increase their exercise if possible, reduce the amount of carbohydrates they consumed, and unless they objected, he would like to see them in about two months and have lab tests done the week before. Barry and Allen said they would and in conversations with them after their appointment, they were asking why their doctor would not tell them how serious things actually were.

Tim, Barry, and Allen explained that many doctors would not until they had something they could treat. Tim explained that is one reason we suggest and took you to a doctor we trust that will explain what is happening with your health and in this case prescribe testing supplies and off-label metformin XR to help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Several of us were invited for this discussion and the two individuals had more questions, which we said was normal even after Dr. Tom explained several things. Plus, we also knew that after getting away from the doctor office, we knew they would relax and start having many more questions. Both were asking about the side effects of metformin. At that point Sue started explaining the side effects and why they had the version they were prescribed which would have the less aggressive effects. Sue explained that if they wanted an upset stomach and diarrhea, then crush the pills. The extended release meant the medicine was time released and they would not have the effects all at once. Sue continued that the full effects of the medication would not be happening for two or three weeks and by then any side effects would be in the past.

At that point we assigned names to them. Jon was the first and Jolly was the second. A.J explained that the reason for increased exercise as to lose the few pounds needed to bring them to ideal weight and to lessen the fat around the middle, or mostly adipose fat. He continued that most doctors do nothing to prevent diabetes and when you are diagnosed, will put you on oral medications first and then keep stacking oral medication after oral medications. They will use insulin as a threat to keep you on oral medications until insulin becomes a necessity.

Because of the cost, Dr. Tom will not prescribe insulin to those in pre-diabetes, but will consider it as soon as you are diagnosed with diabetes. This will help your pancreas heal and can prevent further damage. In addition, if insulin helps, then you may be able with exercise and nutrition, be able to get off all medications for several years to several decades. Both Jon and Jolly asked for resources and wanted to talk further on another day. Barry and Allen said they would get their email addresses and send them information.

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