A Touch of Sugar

Green Wreath

A Touch of Sugar

A touch of sugar. That is how people used to talk about Type II Diabetes. Viola Davis, an actor born in South Carolina, has an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, a Golden Globe — and, as she was shocked to discover, prediabetes. “Not many things scare me,” Davis told AARP’s April 24, 2019 magazine, “but that was one thing that did.” And now Davis is helping to educate everyone by narrating the 2019 documentary A Touch of Sugar, made with Merck and its’ America's Diabetes Challenge, and featuring interviews with patients, family members, doctors and advocates.

The first step, says Davis, is to take control of your destiny. “You should never be fatalistic — hope springs eternal. Back in the day, when I grew up in the Singleton Plantation, people referred to diabetes as ‘the sugar,’ and you just sort of waited to be put in the back room waiting to pass on. My Aunt Betsy was confined to a wheelchair for more than a decade. She had that diabetes smell about her, she lost one leg, and you just sort of waited for it. No one did anything."

"That's not good enough,” Davis continued in the AARP article. “The right thing to do is to arm people with the understanding that this is a disease at crisis level, but something can be done about it as opposed to just letting it overtake you.”

We at Palmetto Endocrinology agree. The development of type II diabetes is caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors. While some of these factors are under your control, such as diet and obesity, other factors are not, such as increasing age, female gender, orther medical consitions and genetics. Obesity is more common in women than men. A lack of sleep has been linked to type II diabetes, through its effect on metabolism. The nutritional status of a mother during fetal development may also play a role. And in some people, intestinal bacteria has been connected with type 2 diabetes.

Lifestyle factors are important to the development of type II diabetes, including obesity and being overweight, lack of physical activity, poor diet, and stress. Smoking appears to increase the risk of type II diabetes.

Dietary factors also influence the risk of developing type II diabetes. Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks in excess is associated with an increased risk. The type of fats in the diet are important. A lack of exercise is believed to cause 7% of cases.

Ask us what the right A1C goal is for you. Work with our team to come up with an individualized diabetes management plan, which may include:

Be sure to talk about how often you should check your blood glucose and your A1C. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of both high and low blood sugar, and talk to us here at Palmetto Endocrinology about how to help reduce your risk. You will need to take a blood test to know your A1C, which tells you two things:

It is also important to work with our team to come up with an individualized treatment plan that is right for you, based on your needs and goals. Everyone has his or her own preferences, even when it comes to a diabetes treatment plan. Being vocal about your preferences is important, so be sure to ask questions and speak up if you believe that something isn’t working for you. Here are some questions to help start the conversation:

Make an appointment with us at Palmetto Endocrinology to discuss your health. We are with you in your goal to become healthy.

Author
Joseph W. Mathews, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, CCD Joseph Mathews, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, CCD Joseph W. Mathews M.D., a board certified Endocrinologist and Medical Director of Palmetto Endocrinology, was born and raised in South Carolina. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of Charleston, Cum Laude. He then achieved his M.D. at the Medical University of South Carolina where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. Dr. Mathews is also a Fellow of both the American College of Endocrinology and the American College of Physicians, holds an Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU) and is a Certified Clinical Densitometrist (CCD). He has extensive experience performing ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration biopsies. His practice includes a range of specializations including prescribing and fitting patients with insulin pumps. Dr. Mathews' practice has drawn patients from out of state to benefit from his expertise in thyroid disorders, diabetes, cortisol problems and their Endocrine disorders.

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