Q. I’m 45 and a C6 quad for 17 years. I just read Tim Gilmer’s article on diabetes [October 2016] that mentioned a Canadian study saying people with SCI are 2.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than the general public. I go in for yearly check-ups, but my doctor never mentioned this. Should I get a diabetes test? And if so, what test? Is there a way to reduce my odds of developing type 2 diabetes? If you get it, is it reversible?
A. Here are some type 2 diabetes basics: A hormone, insulin, regulates the correct balance of glucose (blood sugar) in your blood — signaling the liver when to release glucose for needed energy and when to store it in the liver, muscles and fat cells when glucose levels rise. Type 2 diabetes happens when the body does not respond properly to insulin (insulin resistance), or doesn’t make enough insulin, which causes glucose levels in the blood stream to rise.
Excess glucose levels produce an inflammatory response in the vascular system, which leads to vascular damage. Over time this can cause serious complications, from kidn