Make a Data Dashboard – Glucose and Diabetes

November 07, 2012

Make a Data Dashboard – Glucose and Diabetes 

 ReferenceAmerican Journal of Medicine, June 2008. 

 This is big.  Understanding glucose and its role in your health goes to the very heart of our modern epidemics.  We now understand that disordered glucose metabolism is key to our risks for heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.  Yes, cancer too.  Many of our cellular mechanisms that go awry with glucose are part of the mix that makes cancer cells misbehave.   That’s why folks who are overweight get more cancer.  And more Alzheimer’s.  And strokes.  And, of course, heart attacks.  Which one did you want to sign up for?   Avoid them all and you will live longer, healthier, and wiser. 

 We call disordered blood sugar diabetes.  But we don’t put that label on until we get to a blood glucose level of 126, twice.   What do we do with a level of 119?  We tell you to exercise and lose weight.  What about 96?  We say, “You are fine. See you next year.”   Well, that’s not good enough!  When you drive a car, you have a speedometer in front of you and a gas gauge.  Both of them give you data by which you can modulate and plan your behavior.  Not to mention the radio, the thermostat, the lights, and the turn signal.  We are used to having data that we use to modulate our environment and achieve safety.   Why not in our personal health lives? 

 It’s time to take that model to our personal health.  We need to understand glucose as a marker of disease that exists on a continuum.  It is not black and white.  You are not “sick” or “well” when your blood glucose is 127 (diabetes) versus 122 (not-diabetes).   

When you drive and your speedometer is 72 mph and you pass a cop, you might just ease off a few miles.   In Elm Grove, if you are going 29 mph and pass a cop, you better ease off or you will help fund our city government. This article is seminal and should be the foundation of how you monitor your glucose.  It shows a very simple fact.  Perfect blood glucose is actually a blood level of 86.  For every point above 84, you have a 6% increased chance of developing diabetes eventually.  And diabetes leads to heart disease……Alzheimer’s.  

 If your level is 102,  you are NOT safe.  You are better off if your level is 99…better if you are 92, better yet if you are 88 and just plain wonderful when you get to 80.  Whew.   This study supports the British Whitehall study that came to the same conclusion. The authors in this study followed 46,578 healthy folks whose glucose was under 100 and then who developed diabetes over 10 years.  This was enough people to be a pretty powerful statistically accurate study.   6% increase for every point! 

 WWW.  What will work for me.  I want a “data dashboard” of information that I can get whenever I want so that I can modulate my behavior.  I check my gas gauge and my speedometer every time I drive.  I weigh myself every day.  Now I need to know my glucose, frequently and accurately so that I can see what happens when I stop by Leon’s and have two scoops of chocolate.   Not pretty.   That’s how we will all learn to modulate our eating, our exercise.  Time for blood glucose to become widely and cheaply available.   We need our health data dashboard before us. 

 Written by John E Whitcomb, MD   Brookfield Longevity and Healthy Living Clinic 17585 W North Ave, Suite 160,  Brookfield, WI 53045  262-784-5300 Archives at To unsubscribe, please write us back and we’ll take you off the list.