This Week’s Q&A: Alergies & Diabetes Issues


-I have a bad family history of late onset diabetes. How can this be detected? Would a routine blood test for cholesterol find it? Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to prevent it? What are the early symptoms?

Diabetes can be detected by a simple blood test that looks at blood sugar.  This is the best screening test for diabetes.  If your blood sugar is elevated on this tests, other tests are done to confirm the diagnosis.  A cholesterol blood test does not check for diabetes, but is still a good test to have.  People with diabetes also tend to have an elevated cholesterol.  Yes, there are lifestyle changes you can make. the most simple one being to lose weight if you are heavy (obviously this achieved by eating less and exercising more). Early symptoms of diabetes are increase thirst, increased urination, fatigue, increased hunger and possible weight loss.


-Every time I even see a strawberry, let alone eat one, my lips become swollen and itchy! Is this a type of allergy?

Yes, this is definitely a food allergy to strawberries.  You shouldn’t eat them in the future because each time the allergy may become more severe. If you are accidentally exposed to strawberries try Benadryl to help the symptoms.  If you become short of breath, go immediately to the ER. You might need to be tested to for other food allergies too. Speak with your doctor.


-I have heard several times said that Ventolin sprays are dangerous, and people should use different things. I have used a Ventolin spray for my asthma for many years without trouble, but now I am worried. Should I stop my Ventolin?

No, do not stop your Ventolin.  You are mis-understanding how asthma is treated.  Ventolin (or Albuterol, the generic name) is used as first line treatment for acute attacks.  If you only need it once in a while, then that is all you need.  If, on the other hand, you use the Ventolin often, you may need additional other medications to treat and control your symptoms so you don’t have repeated asthma attacks.  The problem with repeated asthma attacks is that over time you may develop lung damage and need oxygen.  You need to discuss this further with your doctor.





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