Diabetes is one of the most prevalent degenerative diseases of our generation, and it is becoming even more common. Diabetes can lead to amputation, the need for permanent dialysis, heart attack, stroke, and, of course, death. In other words, the complications of this killer are a lot more serious than just having to “watch what you eat.”
The most effective early-warning predictor for diabetes, according to Dr. Gabe Mirkin (a radio talk show host and practicing physician), is the Hemoglobin A1C (HBA1C) test. The HBA1C measures the amount of sugar stuck on cell membranes. It not only identifies those with the disease but, more important, it pinpoints those who are likely to develop it. And while a glucose tolerance test requires as many as seven draws of blood, the inexpensive HBA1C can be done with only one (and no fasting).
If you regularly consume sugar and high-carbohydrate foods and/or you rarely exercise, you might want to talk to your doctor about the HBA1C. If the test indicates you’re highly at risk of developing diabetes, the sooner you alter your lifestyle the better off you will be.