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You didn’t have any warning symptoms at the beginning. Eventually, you began to notice the excessive thirst and urination and start to wonder if something is amiss. The frequent hunger and fatigue just add to your concern. At a routine check-up with your physician, your bloodwork shows that you now have type 2 diabetes. How did this happen? Was there something you could have done to prevent the diagnosis?
The body’s primary source of fuel comes from blood glucose (blood sugar), which usually comes from the foods we eat. This blood glucose is carried to the cells for use as energy via a hormone created in the pancreas called insulin. Diabetes type 2, the most prevalent kind, means that the body does not utilize the insulin it makes accurately. In some cases, the body does not create enough of the hormone. In turn, the blood glucose remains in the bloodstream and is not used efficiently within the body. Diabetes affects multiple organ systems in the body. It can lead to conditions such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, and more.
A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes comes as a shock to many who do not keep track of their blood sugar levels. While many do not seek help until unusual (for them) symptoms arise, more than 84 million Americans already suffer from a condition known as prediabetes. More than 1 out of 3 people living within the United States live with an elevated blood sugar level, and many do not even know it. Don’t let the “pre” fool you. Prediabetes is serious, and many who fall into this category do not even know they have the condition. The encouraging news is that prediabetics do not have to develop diabetes. There are lifestyle changes you can make right now to put yourself on a different track.
Know your risks
Prediabetes does not care who you are. It does not care what you look like, where you are from, what you do, or who you are. However, if you know your risk factors, you can be aware and make positive changes. Here are risk factors to take into consideration:
Know your blood sugar levels
It is natural for blood sugar levels to fluctuate throughout the day. For example, levels are typically lowest just before eating. For a healthy non-diabetic adult, a fasting blood sugar level of 99mg/dl or lower is considered normal.
The more aware you are of your health numbers, the more informed you will be. You can make lifestyle choices NOW that will have a tremendous positive impact. If your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetic, take control of your diet and exercise. Lose the excess weight, and keep track of your levels.
It does not discriminate
Prediabetes can affect everyone, from children to adults. This condition does not discriminate based on age or race. Many are in a prediabetic state for years before they develop full-blown diabetes.
This does not have to be you.
It does not have to lead to diabetes
We cannot stress this point enough. Prediabetes is not a death sentence. Higher than normal blood sugar levels can be controlled and do not have to lead to a diabetes diagnosis. You can stop this from progressing.
You can take steps now to prevent a diabetes diagnosis:
If you are overweight, a loss of only 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can make a tremendous difference.
Change your diet
We all know we should be eating more nutritious, healthy foods, but this is crucial for a prediabetic. Start small! You don’t have to give up everything all at once. If you focus on making healthy choices one at a time, you will experience success. Let that success fuel your future efforts as well.
If you need assistance with nutrition, Innova Primary Care is here to help you make the positive changes you need to succeed.
Our bodies need movement. Shoot for thirty minutes to an hour of moderate daily activity, and watch your life change!
We know how devastating a diagnosis can be, and this is why we have made it one of our missions to educate and inform the residents of Huntsville and the surrounding area. The state of AL has a higher than national average rate of diabetes type 2. Statistics show that roughly fourteen-percent of men and women in our home state suffer from type 2. You do not have a part of this statistic! You can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by monitoring your blood sugar levels, and actively taking steps towards improving your health with diet and exercise.
Our commitment to renewing medicine from the inside out means that we take a whole-person approach to healthcare. Whatever your healthcare needs, we are here to assist you. Contact our office today, and let’s get you well.