DEAR DR. GOTT: A week ago, my doctor reported my fasting sugar level was 120. He recommended I not eat sweets of any kind. He offered to refer me to a nutritionist who could help me and also gave me the option to do it myself. I decided on the latter.
Would your no-flour, no-sugar diet be one to follow?
DEAR READER: In a word, yes. My diet was designed to help people lose weight in a simple, inexpensive, safe and effective manner. Readers responded by the thousands to indicate they lost weight, their diabetes was brought under control, blood-pressure readings dropped, and cholesterol levels were substantially reduced. Talk about a win-win situation.
Your physician was alert and caught your condition early. In fact, you were only five points over the normal high range of 115. This count should, under most circumstances, be lowered through diet alone.
Diabetes is broken down into two basic categories — type I and type II. Type I signifies that a person is insulin-dependent. Most type I diabetics develop the disease before the age of 30. Ninety percent of diabetics have type II diabetes. At one time, it was thought not to require insulin, but that is no longer the case. However, it usually is noninsulin dependent, meaning it can likely be controlled with oral medication and regular exercise. The condition ordinarily begins after the age of 30. Nearly 90 percent of all type II diabetics are obese. This is a startling fact. A multitude of medical problems can occur with either type I or II that can be life-threatening. Heart disease, stroke, poor circulation, kidney failure, impotence and infection are just a few of the more complicated issues facing a diabetic.
Numerous prescription medications are available today for control. Injectables for type I are given under the skin (often in the thigh) and act quickly. Difficult cases are now handled with the use of a device to record sugar levels and a pump that administers insulin automatically when necessary. Oral meds work best for type II patients who have a relatively normal weight and have had high blood sugar levels for fewer than 10 years.
It’s a great deal easier to exercise, eat properly, and reduce foods that contain sugar than to suffer the consequences of long-term diabetes. You have chosen the best road to travel at this stage, and I wish you well.