April 12, 2013 in Healthy Living
This is the fourth of my six part series on Getting the Most from your Doctor. In part three of this series, I talked about the importance of vitamin D levels and gave you tips on how to increase vitamin D in your body.
In part four, I’ll discuss diabetes and Hemoglobin A1C.
Screening for Diabetes
I screen my patients for diabetes – and encourage healthy behaviors that prevent diabetes – because diabetes has such horrible consequences.
Diabetes can damage our vision, damage our kidneys, increase our risk of heart disease – there are all kinds of long term consequences of having diabetes. So it’s crucial to prevent it before it ever starts.
Hemoglobin A1c and Diabetes
The Hemoglobin A1c (or HbA1c) test looks at our average blood sugar over the course of the last 3-4 months of our lives, which makes it a great screening test for pre-diabetes. Yet so many doctors still do not do give this test, and they don’t find diabetes until it’s full-blown.
How Does the HbA1c Test Work?
Red blood cells last in our body for about 3-4 months. And the HbA1c test can look at sugar that’s attached to molecules of hemoglobin in our red blood cells. So we’re able to tell what a person’s blood sugar looks like, on average, over the last 3 or 4 months.
I’ve been using this test on my patients for close to 10 years now, because pre-diabetes is much more easily reversed – and much less damaging – than full-blown diabetes.
How to Decrease your Risk of Diabetes
Pre-diabetes can usually be very easily reversed with lifestyle changes, including:
- eating a lower-carb diet
- reducing your sugar intake
- eating more vegetables
- eating more lean proteins
- getting more exercise
All these things will help you lose weight in a healthy way and majorly decrease your risk of diabetes.
Supplements that Lower Blood Sugar
I help my patients reverse diabetes all the time, through nutrition programs, by decreasing their sugar intake, and by amping up their exercise.
And some of them benefit from supplements too. Chromium picolinate or chromium nicotinate are forms of the mineral chromium that can help lower blood sugar in the body. Ask your doctor how these supplements can work for you.
Getting the Most from Your Doctor – Prevention vs. Disease
A doctor’s training goes something like this: here is the disease and here is the medicine to treat that disease.
This may sound simplified, but most doctors are not trained in how to keep people from becoming unhealthy or how to prevent unwanted medical situations from happening in the first place. In a word, they are not trained in prevention.
It’s up to each of us to become educated in disease prevention – and practice it on ourselves and our families.
Take Good Care
As a hormone specialist, I have a lively practice helping men and women balance their hormones and restore their health. And I want to reach even more people with the information I have. I’m glad you’re here.
Wishing you great health, great happiness and great moments,
Hormone Expert MD