Start at the beginning

Start at the beginning

Repeating again the primary underlying health conditions that leave us susceptible to serious illness with COVID-19. These were introduced in my last post.

Diabetes (results from failure to store glucose in body cells and too much glucose being created in the liver), obesity (too much storage of fat resulting from failure to to store glucose – dang stuff has to go somewhere), fatty liver disease (fat storing in bad places when the fat cells get full), cardio vascular disease (excess glucose in the blood vessels coating red blood cells and vessel walls plus too much fat escaping from the fat cells.)

So it starts with too much blood sugar and ends with a lot of stuff wrong.

In the beginning – too much blood sugar

“The perfect balance of blood sugar (in your blood stream) is lost. Sugar glycates (coats) the red blood cells and blood vessel walls, causing damage. Those of you who are diabetic now know how much glycation is going on by measuring your A1c. Tiny veins in your eyes, kidneys, feet and hands can be impacted. Diabetics are very prone to amputations.”

This is a description of being sick.

In my view susceptibility to serious illness from COVID-19, while real, is secondary. The challenges to your immune system presented by all that stuff wrong means you are ill prepared to respond to any infection, viral, bacterial, or otherwise.

Should you “check”?

Previously I made a dietary recommendation. “Replace ultra-processed food with vegetables and meat. Replace the grain/seed oils with fruit oils like olive, avocado, and coconut. Minimize sweet treats. That extra fat will disappear.

But maybe you don’t think you have any issues with your heart, circulation, neuropathy, kidneys, etc. etc. Maybe a little reflux, occasional gas or other bowel things but no big deal. You have a small handful of regular medications. Yes, your weight has been slowly increasing over the years and you are a bit thick around the middle but the doctor hasn’t ever mentioned your blood sugar.

If this is you then now is the time to check your blood sugar, the ONE thing you can easily check for yourself.

How to check your blood sugar

You could go to WalMart and buy a Relion Prime meter, a lancet pen, some lancets (needles), and a small bottle of test strips. I own no stock in Relion or WalMart but I do know that these are reliable and inexpensive. And you can ask your diabetic friend (everybody has one) to show you how to test.

Or you might convince your diabetic friend to change the pin in his lancet (in the interest of hygiene) just for you and let you use his/her meter and strips for a test. Not much investment there.

Cook a medium potato without any additions. No butter, no sour cream, nothing but the potato. Test your blood sugar and write the number down. Eat the potato (you can salt and pepper it). An hour later check your blood sugar again and write that number down.

If that number at one hour is higher than 110 you may be heading in the wrong direction. My next post will take you down the path to diabetes and beyond.

Pat Smith is the author of “It’s All about the Food,” a book that guides nutritious food choices as the way to avoid illness and maintain a healthy weight. Proceeds from her book benefit the Montgomery County Food Pantry. She can be contacted at, 870-490-1836. Her Facebook page is Her website is