This month’s focus is on one of the most common and most serious of diseases – diabetes. The USA is one of the global leaders in this condition which is directly related to the obesity epidemic. In fact, many medical experts have adopted the term “diabesity” to encompass the intimate relationship between weight gain and the loss of control of glucose metabolism. What has been elucidated is a complex series of changes in the regulation of glucose termed dysglycemia. This is a process that begins far sooner than the typical tests, fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (A1c), reveal. In fact, by the time the A1c and fasting glucose are abnormal years of dysglycemia have been present. What is the significance of this process? The list of diseases associated with this process is impressive if not daunting – cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, retinal disease, limb loss, erectile dysfunction, general cognitive decline and more seriously, Alzheimer’s dementia.
With the elucidation of this disease process has come a number of significant diagnostic tests that can establish where in the continuum of early dysglycemia to frank diabetes a patient may be. And of course the earlier one can establish this the greater the likelihood that it can be reversed – often with diet and weight loss alone. We have all heard the phrase “knowledge is power” and never has this been truer than in this disease process. My hope is that you will enjoy this month’s information and empower yourself to explore where you are in this process – it may very well be life altering.
For more information, contact:
Dr. James Stevens, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP, ABAARM