Impaired Driving Concerns For Diabetics Renewing a Driving Licence

Gretchen Becker Health Guide
  • The best way to treat type 2 diabetes is not always clear, because type 2 diabetes is such a complicated disease.


    One reason is that we're all different, so what helps one person may not help another. We call this YMMV (your mileage may differ), and I'll address that issue in the next sharepost.


    Another reason is that scientific evidence keeps evolving. What was considered true 10 years ago may not be considered true today.


    This doesn't mean that scientists are all incompetent. It's the way science works. You start by studying the major factors. Then you study the exceptions and the role of minor factors. Then you drill down among the minor factors and find even more.

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    For example, not too long ago, scientists measured only total cholesterol. Then they found there were different classes of cholesterol, including LDL and HDL. Our lab reports usually report these individual fractions.


    Then they found there are subclasses of HDL, including HDL2 and HDL3. Their roles are still controversial, but some day,our lab results may report subclasses as well as total HDL.


    A few fairly recent news stories illustrate how new studies can challenged accepted "facts."


    One study found that adults over 70 are 13% less likely to die within 10 years if they're overweight instead of normal weight. We're being bombarded by news stories warning of the health dangers of obesity, but this study suggested that a few extra pounds might be a good thing when you're older.


    Note that these results applied to people classed as overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9), not obese (BMI 30 or greater). And they didn't study people with type 2 diabetes, who may see improvements in their blood glucose levels with weight loss.


    Two studies showed that amyloid-beta, the brain protein that some people think causes Alzheimer's disease, may in fact be necessary for normal brain function. This means that all the research that is trying to find out how to eliminate amyloid-beta may be counterproductive.


    This is not directly related to diabetes, but people with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk of Alzheimer's, which some people think is a form of insulin resistance in the brain.


    Another study showed that among postmenopausal women on a relatively low fat (25% fat) diet who already had atherosclerosis, those who ate the most saturated fat had the least progression in their disease. Those who ate the most carbohydrate had the greatest progression.


    Whether this will prove to be true in younger women, in men, in people without preexisting heart disease, or in people with higher fat intakes remains to be seen. But it suggests that current dietary recommendations to avoid saturated fat may be turned on their head.


    What does all of this mean for us? It means we need to keep abreast of new findings that may change the way we think about what is best for our health.


    Unfortunately, although many doctors keep abreast of new research that may change how they treat patients, some don't and may keep treating patients almost the same way they did when they graduated from medical school. If you find this is true, you can try to help educate your doctor.


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    This can be difficult. Some doctors are happy to read research reports you bring to them and to tell you whether or not they agree with the findings. Others aren't; they feel their authority is threatened. If the latter happens, see if you can find another doctor who has a more open mind.


    Remember, it's your health that is at stake, not the doctor's. If you hurt the doctor's feelings, he or she will get over it. If old-fashioned medicine hurts you, you might never fully recover.



Published On: March 01, 2010