More than a third of American adults have prediabetes, and about 90% of them don’t even know it. At this stage, blood sugar is slightly higher than normal and diabetes can often be prevented. Drs. Timothy Leigh Rodgers, Brittany Bryan, and Dennis H. Baker at Premium Care Internal Medicine offer comprehensive services to help adults of all ages prevent and treat Type 2 diabetes. If you would like to learn more about diabetes testing and preventive steps you can take, call our office in Santa Barbara, California, or schedule an appointment online.
A risk factor is any health condition, behavior, or characteristic that increases your chance of developing a disease. You can’t change some risk factors, such as a genetic predisposition, but you can control the primary factors that contribute to Type 2 diabetes to lower your chance of developing the disease.
The risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:
You also have a higher risk if you have had a history of gestational diabetes, heart disease, or polycystic ovary syndrome. While you can’t change pre-existing risk factors, you can still lower your chance of Type 2 diabetes by avoiding controllable risk factors.
When you have Type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t synthesize enough insulin, or it can’t use the insulin that’s produced, which is called insulin resistance. As a result, levels of blood glucose (sugar) stay higher than normal. High blood sugar gradually damages your blood vessels and nerves, which leads to serious health problems such as:
Diabetes doesn’t cause symptoms at first, or the signs are so subtle you may not notice. The earliest symptoms may include thirst, frequent urination, hunger, and fatigue.
Some people develop acanthosis nigricans, which are patches of dark, velvety skin in body folds such as the armpits and neck. You may also begin to experience blurry vision, get frequent infections, or have sores that don’t heal.
Treatment for diabetes focuses on keeping your blood sugar within a normal range. To accomplish this, the doctors at Premium Care Internal Medicine evaluate your overall health, then develop an individualized plan that includes the following:
You learn how to avoid foods that spike blood sugar and develop a healthy calorie-controlled diet if you need to lose weight.
Staying active is great for your overall health, but exercise also lowers blood sugar.
If lifestyle changes don’t keep blood sugar under control, many medications that work through different mechanisms are available to help lower blood sugar.