Apparently, this is diabetes awareness month. According to the ADA, about 86,000,000 Americans have “prediabetes.” This means that they are pre-sick and will need to get to a doctor immediately.
I apologize, but I’m growing so weary of medical marketing, which I believe is a combination of brilliant marketing mixed with fear mongering. Hey, we’ve allowed them to do it with drug ads on TV for decades, so why not continue it with seemingly credible organizations online?
I finally took the “type 2 diabetes risk test.“ One of the first things you will learn about type 2 diabetes is that there exists a “hidden diabetes epidemic” and you are very likely part of it, but you don’t know that yet. The next lesson is that you can have absolutely no symptoms and then be thrust into a full-blown, life-threatening disease. Wait! That’s me! I’m having huge amounts of no symptoms! I feel absolutely great! Am I dying of diabetes? Well, the only way I’m ever going to know the answer to that question is if I take this test. So here is the ADA’s test, their own comments, and my answers.
1. Do you have a mother, father, sister or brother with diabetes? THEIR INTERPRETATION OF THE RISK FACTOR: A family history of diabetes could contribute to your risk for type 2 diabetes.
MY RESPONSE: NO
2. Have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure? Having high blood pressure contributes to your overall risk for type 2 diabetes.
MY RESPONSE: NO
3. How old are you? You are at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes the older you are.
MY RESPONSE: 68
4. What race or ethnicity best describes you? People of certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than others.
MY RESPONSE: White/Caucasian
5. Are you physically active? Being inactive can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.
MY RESPONSE: YES
6. Are you a man or a woman? Men are more likely than women to have undiagnosed diabetes; one reason may be that they are less likely to see a doctor regularly.
MY RESPONSE: Man
7. How tall are you? The combination of your weight and height lets us know your Body Mass Index or BMI. People with higher BMI’s are at a higher risk.
MY RESPONSE: 5’9″, weight 174lbs
SEE YOUR RESULTS
Out of 10, with 10 being at highest risk, you scored a 5. Your risk of having type 2 diabetes is high. Only your doctor can tell for certain if you have diabetes or prediabetes-a condition that almost always precedes type 2 diabetes and means a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Prediabetes and early stages of type 2 diabetes often do not cause any symptoms, so don’t wait to make an appointment with your doctor.
Where are the diet questions?
What if I smoke 4 packs daily and only eat fast food and ice cream! I’ll address that in a moment, but now onto my risk of type 2 diabetes.
Apparently, being a healthy 68-year-old Caucasian male who is weight/height proportionate, with normal blood pressure and no immediate family history of diabetes places me at a high risk!
After insidiously depositing fear onto the test taker, now it is time to clink the attached ADA link to learn more about my impending diabetes. In essence, they hope to close the deal, by getting me to immediately make an appointment with my doctor and start me on any number of drugs. America has no shortage of doctors who will interpret the ADA’s questionnaire as they have, and begin prescribing drugs for me.
Upon clicking the get more information link, another link appears directing me to “donate towards research today and your gift will be matched.” Wait a minute; I thought the ADA cared about my health, not my money! With fear still surging through my veins, I forego donating and elect to click the next link to see recipes that the ADA recommends for me.
They look great, but eating this way might serve to keep my blood sugar elevated. I believe that many cases of diabetes are linked to fungus. Fungi require carbohydrates in order to thrive inside the body of a person with diabetes. So this very organization that has now successfully frightened me by apprising me that my risk of type 2 diabetes is high, now recommends that I eat spicy shrimp with tomato pasta? Also on the approved menu are several dishes with mushrooms (these are not vegetables, rather fungi) and even whole-wheat tacos with canola oil.
Am I really fearful?
Yes! But I’m not fearful of diabetes. I am fearful that vulnerable people will take this test and visit their doctors with their results in hand. In my opinion, the American Diabetes Association is showing their true colors in two ways; by begging for money and by assisting physicians in marketing their practices…as long, of course, as they continue prescribing.
All I ask you to do is think!
HAPPY DIABETES WEEK!