BY DR PETER KADILE
Dr. Kadile, my brother was recently diagnosed with Prediabetes. His doctor did not start him on any medication. Since he is diabetic, shouldn’t he be on insulin?
Lloyd, Rancho Mirage
Lloyd, prediabetes is the condition when someone has high levels of blood sugar above normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetic. Many people are asymptomatic and the diagnosis is based on a blood test. Approximately 84 million Americans have prediabetes and more than 90% don’t know they have it. If you are diagnosed with Prediabetes, it is a warning sign that if you do not change your lifestyle, alter your diet and pursue regular exercise, you may develop actual diabetes. Prediabetics usually do not need medication to be treated. If insulin needs to be taken they have already progressed to Diabetes Type 2. While most patients do not have symptoms, some people may experience fatigue, excessive thirst, excessive urination, and excessive hunger.
Dr. Peter, I have been trying to lose weight since the new year. I’ve started exercising, changed my diet and even switched my soda intake to diet soda. My friend told me diet soda is bad, so then what can I drink?
Joseph, a big myth is that diet soda is good for you and will help you lose weight. Diet soda will actually CAUSE weight gain. A study at Purdue University found that rats that were fed yogurt artificially sweetened gained more weight compared to rats that were fed yogurt sweetened with sugar. Another study from the University of Texas, found that there was a 41% higher risk for obesity for each can of diet soda consumed each day. There are numerous other studies that confirm the health risks associated with diet soda intake. There is increased risk for diabetes type 2 and even osteoporosis.
Now just because diet soda is bad for you, doesn’t mean you should go back to regular soft drinks. A typical 20oz soda can contain as much as 15-18 teaspoons of sugar in it. Imagine relaxing and watching a sporting event and just spooning sugar into your mouth 15-18 times!
Bottom line, soft drinks offer no nutritional value and can actually cause harm with regular intake. I recommend don’t drink this liquid candy. Drink water.
Doctor, I am trying to avoid sugar in my diet. Can I substitute with artificial sweeteners?
Krystal, Thousand Palms
Krystal, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose may be linked to increased obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that artificial sweeteners did not consistently cause weight loss. There was a connection between artificial sweeteners and high risk for weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and other health issues. Beware of artificial sweeteners.
Dr. K, I have diabetes in my family history. I am concerned about developing diabetes, so besides watching my weight, avoiding sweets and decreasing my bread, rice and pasta intake. Are there any nutritional supplements I can take?
George, Cathedral City
George, a good nutritional supplement that helps with control of blood sugars is actually a spice, cinnamon.
According to a study published in Diabetics Care, consuming up to 6 grams of cinnamon per day “reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes”. Add cinnamon to your diet