Blog Section

Why sugar makes you go blind. 

Here’s an interesting study looking at the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in patients across the spectrum of blood sugar control.  It showed that individuals with a Hgb A1c greater than 5.5% have the biggest increase in retina damage due to sugar exposure.  A Hgb A1c of 5.5% is equivalent to an average blood sugar of 111 mg/dL.  For reference, diabetes is diagnosed when a fasting blood sugar is 126 mg/dL on two occasions.  That means that individuals who have not been diagnosed with diabetes may already have retina damage from high blood sugars.

Now is the time to change.  Call our office at 539-0270 to schedule an appointment with our Nutrition Counselors and take control of your blood sugar.  Save your vision!

Association of A1C and Fasting Plasma Glucose Levels With Diabetic Retinopathy Prevalence in the U.S. Population

Implications for diabetes diagnostic thresholds

OBJECTIVE To examine the association of A1C levels and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) with diabetic retinopathy in the U.S. population and to compare the ability of the two glycemic measures to discriminate between people with and without retinopathy.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This study included 1,066 individuals aged ≥40 years from the 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. A1C, FPG, and 45° color digital retinal images were assessed. Retinopathy was defined as a level ≥14 on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study severity scale. We used join point regression to identify linear inflections of prevalence of retinopathy in the association between A1C and FPG.

RESULTS The overall prevalence of retinopathy was 11%, which is appreciably lower than the prevalence in people with diagnosed diabetes (36%). There was a sharp increase in retinopathy prevalence in those with A1C ≥5.5% or FPG ≥5.8 mmol/l. After excluding 144 people using hypoglycemic medication, the change points for the greatest increase in retinopathy prevalence were A1C 5.5% and FPG 7.0 mmol/l. The coefficients of variation were 15.6 for A1C and 28.8 for FPG. Based on the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves, A1C was a stronger discriminator of retinopathy (0.71 [95% CI 0.66–0.76]) than FPG (0.65 [0.60 – 0.70], P for difference = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS The steepest increase in retinopathy prevalence occurs among individuals with A1C ≥5.5% and FPG ≥5.8 mmol/l. A1C discriminates prevalence of retinopathy better than FPG.


Romaine Calm! Low carb Mexican dining just got easier

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I recently visited Abuelo’s in Turkey Creek and found their fajitas come with an option to be served with romaine lettuce leaves instead of the traditional tortilla’s wraps.  Many of our patients carry their own store-bought, low carb tortilla with them while eating out at a Mexican restaurant.  However, it is great to have another low carbohydrate option that is even better for you.


Trinity Direct Medical Care in Maryville is almost ready

I had a chance to visit Trinity’s new Direct Primary Care office in Maryville and see the renovations nearing completion.  It’s a beautiful new office that will be a perfect setting for the low cost, personalized health care we offer in our Direct Primary Care program.  It sits directly on East Lamar Alexander Boulevard and has great curb appeal.  Offering easy access in the parking lot and through the office I think Maryville patients will find this practice location quite enjoyable.  Dr. Hone has done a wonderful job coordinating the updating of that office!

They have plans for a soft opening in the next couple weeks.  We’ll host a grand opening in June and invite everyone to come see the location.

For more information about the Maryville office contact 982-0835.

For more information about Trinity’s Direct Primary Care program contact 244-1800 or attend our next informational meeting this coming Saturday, May 7th at 11:30am in the lobby of Trinity’s Fort Sanders West office.

-Dr. McColl2016-05-04 13.52.20


Direct Primary Care program presentation May 7th at 11:30am

Our next presentation concerning Trinity’s Direct Primary Care program will be Saturday May 7th at 11:30am in the main lobby of Trinity’s Fort Sanders West office.  There will be a brief description of the program plus a time for questions.

Please attend and hear about the program.  Bring your questions and your friends for this informative meeting.  Feel free to email Dr. McColl at for more information or if you have other questions.

In this time of unprecedented health care costs, how can you afford not to learn about a way to save money while improving your access to medical care?