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McDowell Podiatry
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Can You Be Diabetic Without Knowing It?

"Hi, I’m Dr. Brian McDowell from Carmichael, CA. I happen to have today some of my esteemed colleagues with me. To my left is the author of the book called Sugar Crush, Dr. Richard Jacoby from Scottsdale, Arizona. 

I’d like to make a comment about daily, what we see in our office, people will come into the office and say, “You know, I really don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have burning, tingling pain, I’m getting night cramps, I’m getting heavier, I’m getting hypertension, and I just don’t understand it. I’m working out.” I say, “Well, are you a diabetic?” and they always say, “No.” The reason for that is because the medical world is so tuned in to A1C six and below, blood sugar 99 and below, I’d like Dr. Jacoby to talk about people who have been diabetic for 20 and 30 years and didn’t even know it because it wasn’t in their family, it wasn’t genetic.

Let’s go back to that genetic issue. There is a gene that causes diabetes, type 1 diabetes is genetic for the most part. That is a very small percentage. 98% of the people we’re talking about have type 2. I like to explain it to patients patients like this: Type 1 diabetics, actually when they come into my office, are in pretty good shape. Diabetics who have type 1 genetic are dealt a very bad hand and they play it very well. Type 2 diabetics have a terrific hand in cards, but they play it very poorly, because, “I don’t have diabetes so I can eat what I want.” That is absolutely not true.

I really was eating healthy food. It absolutely said zero sugar, right on the label. When Dr. Jacoby did the math on it, it had 7 teaspoons of sugar on it. More importantly, I had diabetic symptoms 30 years ago. It never once crossed my mind that I’d be a diabetic, which by the way, is a lifestyle choice. It’s embarrassing to say that, but it is. I had symptoms 30 years ago, but diabetes wasn’t in my family - I was never going to get diabetes! One month I went to the doctor and there was an A1C of 7 and a blood sugar of 123, which by the way, the next month it was back below the limits. Am I not a diabetic? Absolutely - I still am a diabetic, but now I’ve got really good controls and just a combination of nutrition, understanding what I’m doing, exercise, it’ll change my life and hopefully the symptoms won’t get worse. 

For further information, please go to my website, mcdowellpodiatry.com. Particularly the newsletters - I write a column about sugar neuropathy in each one of those newsletters. I encourage you to get on our list - just send us your e-mail address and we’d be happy to make sure you get a copy of that every month. If you have further questions about your neuropathy, please contact our office in Carmichael, California."