Sugar Matters
January 21, 2014
Diabetes and your looks

This week I recall meeting a woman during one of our mission trips home. She was remarkably young appearing for her age – I would easily have taken her for a 40-something year old woman, meanwhile she was actually almost 60. She of course was quite proud of this. I was seeing her because the nurse at the clinic alerted me to the fact that this woman had very, very high blood sugar that day. When I looked through her clinic record, it appeared that EVERYTIME she came into clinic her numbers were high. I asked her about it and she laughed, saying, “Well I still look good though, right?”{{more}}

Needless to say, I was not amused.

I am not going to get into the conversation I had with this woman. The points I would like to make this week do include some of what I talked about with her:

First: the way you look does not tell you necessarily how badly or how well your blood sugars are controlled. We tend to have this idea that if we “look healthy and good” then our bodies are fine, meanwhile if something is obviously wrong (toes cut off, skin not healing etc) then clearly THAT is when there is something wrong. This is not the case always. There are plenty of people walking around with sky high blood sugars but without any outward signs you could see right away.

Second, leading from the first: just because you LOOK fine from the outside does not mean diabetes is not wrecking your body from the inside. And I use that word “wrecking” on purpose, because that is exactly what happens. Diabetes is not kind to the body. It damages pretty much everything, muscles, cells, bones, brain, heart, you name it.

Third, putting those two points above together: don’t use your outward appearance to decide if those high blood sugars mean anything to you or if they are harming you. Your outward appearance will not always be a good indicator, especially early on in the disease. I am sure I don’t need to remind you that as the years go by, that lovely outward appearance may not stay that way either, because diabetes does have a way of affecting that in some way. I encourage you to please pay attention to those high sugar numbers even if you feel and look fine right now. On the inside, the damage is being done day by day. I guarantee you that is the case.

Until next week stay safe and healthy Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227