Your Blood Sugar is High, but you Feel Okay. What’s the Problem?
Over and over, I hear the same quiet and melancholy reflections from middle-aged and older Type 2 diabetics who may be suffering from circulatory problems, kidney failure, serious vision problems, foot sores, or foot ulcers, “I should have taken my high blood sugars more seriously.” Or, “I wish I had been more conscientious about my blood sugars years ago.” It’s sad to hear those comments, but they are very understandable.
But don’t be discouraged; Type 2 diabetes is curable and it’s reversable.
Referring to the things I’ll address here, Doctor Thomas S. Nighswander MD MPH said, “Rick Mystrom is the expert. I am the learner.”
Additionally, Doctor Murray Buttner, M.D. wrote, “I am passionate about your message! Thank you very much for what you are doing for all people with diabetes.”
Why are High Blood Sugars Easy to Ignore?
Based on my experience and hundreds of conversations with Type 2 diabetics, I’ve learned the biggest reason diabetics often let blood sugar levels drift high—and remain high—is the lack of immediate negative feedback from their bodies. If your blood sugar gets too low, you know it. I mean right away. You’re in danger, and you better do something—right now.
But high blood sugars are more subtle than low blood sugars and can be harder to identify until they reach a very high and unhealthy point. With normal considered in the 75-to-105 mg/dl range, what happens when your blood sugar gets up to 120? What do you feel? Nothing.
How about a blood sugar of 140? Still nothing. What about 160? 180? You still feel normal. How can you be sick if you feel normal?
Maybe at 200 mg/dl or higher, you might feel just a little off. You can’t put your finger on it, but you don’t feel great. By the time your blood sugar gets to 300, you usually can feel it. It feels like you might be getting the flu. You’re not sick, but you feel just a little under the weather. Even then, you’re in no immediate danger, so you’ll tend not to treat it as seriously as you should.
The Problems You Want to Avoid
Although there is no immediate danger in periodic high blood sugars, there certainly are very severe long-term consequences with frequent high blood sugars over an extended time. Consistent high blood sugars will contribute directly to circulatory problems—which in the long term will lead to heart problems, kidney problems, vision impairment, blindness, and amputations.
High blood sugars will also cause loss of feeling in your feet (neuropathy). This means you won’t feel punctures, lacerations, abrasions, or blisters in your feet, which, untreated or unhealed, will lead to amputation of toes, feet, or even legs.
Older Diabetics Must Act Quickly.
If you’re a Type 2 diabetic 40 years or older, you do not have the luxury of taking a lot of time to change habits. A few years of high blood sugars for someone in their 40s, 50s, 60s, or older can negatively impact health and survivability. In contrast, a few years of higher-than-ideal blood sugars for a younger person will not have as significant an impact.
You don’t have the luxury of years before you need to start changing your habits. You need to begin acting now!
Rick Mystrom, Acknowledged Diabetes and Weight-Loss Authority, is passionate about defeating diabetes worldwide with a simple, sensible, solution.