There are few things in life that give you ample warning, leaving you enough time to change your course for the better. When it comes to Type 2 diabetes, the warning signs are in place, well in advance, but you just need to know where to look.
Here at Pure Medicine, our goal is to not only treat whatever ails you but to help you avoid medical problems in the first place. For our patients in the Dallas and Frisco, Texas areas, this means monitoring your health very closely to watch out for potential signs of Type 2 diabetes.
Take a few moments to explore whether you’re at risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Before we get into the risk factors and warning signs for Type 2 diabetes, it might be helpful to step back and review what the disease is. Diabetes is a catchall term for several diseases that affect how you regulate the sugar, or glucose, in your blood. Type 2 diabetes is a form of the disease that you typically develop in adulthood, when your body grows resistant to the insulin you produce, or you don’t produce enough insulin to deal with the sugar in your blood.
In either case, you’re left with dangerously elevated levels of glucose in your blood, which, if not addressed, can wreak havoc on your cardiovascular and nervous systems.
According to the American Diabetes Association, as recently as 2015, a whopping 84 million people in America had prediabetes, which means they’re at great risk for developing the disease, joining the more than 30 million people who already have it.
Prediabetes means that your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes. This early warning still gives you enough time to do something to halt the progression into full-blown Type 2 diabetes, which, once it takes hold, can be very hard to manage.
The biggest culprit behind prediabetes — and Type 2 diabetes — is obesity or weight issues. If you’re taking in large quantities of sugars and fats, your insulin has a hard time processing the higher amounts, leaving much of it to build up in your system. Over time, this causes your blood vessels to narrow, putting you at increased risk for cardiovascular and neurological issues.
Another common risk factor when it comes to developing Type 2 diabetes is inactivity. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, coupled with excess sugar in your bloodstream, the potential cardiovascular problems become even more of a threat if you’re not circulating your blood properly.
Other risk factors to watch out for when it comes to assessing your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes include a family history of the disease and your race. The first one is easy enough to determine: Look to your immediate relatives to see if Type 2 diabetes is present. The second risk factor is also easy to determine; African Americans, Hispanics. Native Americans and Asian Americans are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than other races.
If you fall into one or more of the risk categories, a simple blood glucose screening can give you the information you need. Here at Pure Medicine, we recommend that our high-risk patients have their blood tested regularly so we can stay on top of rising numbers.
If you fall into prediabetes, or your numbers are getting close, there’s a lot we can do to prevent you from passing the point of no return. Most of the risk factors that contribute to developing Type 2 diabetes are controllable and reversible with a few lifestyle changes, namely weight loss and exercise.
We’re happy to work with you every step of the way, which is why we offer medical weight loss and nutrition counseling to help get your blood glucose numbers down. To get started, give us a call or use the online scheduling tool on this website to book an appointment.