The other day I was in the car listeing to some health program held by an MD working in the area. After more than 20 years treating kidney-failure patients with dialysis, she decided to take up the banner of prevention. The first thing she mentioned in this regard was diabetes. This reminded me a call I received from a patient, which I’d like to relate here.
Patton, a 36 yo architect, called me up expressing mild concern about what he felt was excessive urination. He was certain that he was passing much more water than he was taking in, and he wanted to know my thoughts.
“Well, Patton old boy,” I replied, “that sounds like diabetes.”
Being neither overweight nor inactive, he sounded surprised. “I don’t drink sodas and I really don’t like sugary foods either. What do you mean?”
“Well Patton, high volume urination without comparable intake of fluids is a red flag for diabetes. What have you been eating lately?” I queried.
“I don’t have much time to prepare food, so I’ve been eating four or five protein bars throughout the day, before my evening meal.”
I broke the news to him. “Those protein bars can be packed with sugar, amigo. I’d suggest you lay off those protein bars just to see if there’s any chance that it’s a sugar issue.”
About a week later he called me to say that the peeing issue had improved and things were back to normal. Had the problem not resolved, I would have invited him in to have a better look. Patton was lucky to have observed the issue early. This combined with his youth is what accounts for his rapid turn around. Had he not responded quickly, then the next most direct course of action would have been dietary and herbal intervention. Needless to say, many so called healthy and natural snacks out there are healthy in name only and could be setting us up for serious health problem later on.