2.26.2010

Do You Know Your FBS?

Most of us are familiar with checking cholesterol levels in a blood test before. But what about fasting blood sugar (FBS) test?

Glucose, or blood sugar, is a type of sugar that is used by the body. It is referred to as blood sugar because it's the body's main fuel. While it's normal for blood sugar to go up after meals, the problem arises when it remains elevated even when eating hasn't occurred (aka fasting). Having constantly elevated glucose level can lead to damage in the eyes, nerves, kidney, and blood vessel that is sometimes irreversible.

The prevailing myth about Type II diabetes (formerly known as adult onset diabetes) is that diabetic individuals get the illness by eating too much sugary foods. Although this may contribute to the onset, consuming too much sweets doesn't cause diabetes. The body is simply burnt out from keeping up with the blood sugar rollercoaster. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Diabetes results when insulin is either not produced at all or is produced in insufficient amounts.

Another myth about diabetes is that people with the illness cannot eat carbs. The truth is people with diabetes can consume carbohydrates but in limited amounts. It fact, carbs are essential. Diabetic and non-diabetic individuals should keep in mind the type and the amount of carbs when choosing them. Also, carbohydrates isn't the same as table sugar. Just because a food doesn't taste sweet doesn't mean it doesn't contain carbs. Crackers, rice, oatmeal, and potatoes are some common foods that don't taste sweet but do contain lots of carbs. 

Traditionally, Type 2 diabetes affect people who are overweight or obese. However, a great majority of Asians who are diagnosed with it aren't very overweight. In fact, their BMI, or body mass index, is sometimes within normal range. This makes it more difficult to watch out for signs of diabetes. Unfortunately, it also gives the illusion that "everything is working A-okay in the body" when it isn't so.

Symptoms of diabetes aren't apparent until the body is close to losing the battle. If you haven't had a fasting blood sugar (FBS) test, today is the day to talk to your doctor about it!

For more info, feel free to leave a comment or email me. Visit WebMD for "10 Myths about Diabetic Diet Plan".

3 comments:

Annie Lee said...

Nice write-up! Very informative, the public needs to know. Keep up the good work! =)

Anonymous said...

parents need to read this

Elizabeth Lee said...

Thanks Annie!
FBS gets so little attention before it manifests into an issue (i.e. diabetes). Ideally, testing FBS should be part of a regular exam.

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