In addition to nutrients and other necessities, our bloodstream carries blood glucose (also known as blood sugar) to fuel our cells. Our blood sugar levels are regulated by a hormone called insulin. In type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insulin issues can lead to too much or too little blood sugar causing serious complications if untreated.
37.3 million Americans (over 11% of the U.S. population) have diabetes, including 8.5 million who are not yet diagnosed. If you live in Henderson, Nevada, and you’re showing signs of diabetes, Dr. Evan Allen and his team at Allen Wellness & Medical Center can help you manage this and any other chronic condition.
To help you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, let’s explore its causes and risk factors, common symptoms, and prevention and treatment options.
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are a result of your body’s inability to properly process blood glucose. This leads to an overabundance of glucose in your bloodstream (also known as hyperglycemia) and can lead to many other life-threatening complications if not treated.
Type 1 diabetes is a genetic autoimmune disorder that affects your pancreas’ production of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by insulin resistance leading to your body not using insulin effectively.
Your chances of developing type 2 diabetes increase if you have risk factors like high sugar diets, obesity, inactivity, family history, and hypertension.
The signs of type 2 diabetes often present slowly, so you can have it but be asymptomatic for years. When you start showing symptoms, you may experience blurred vision, increased hunger and thirst, frequent urination, frequent infections, fatigue, slow healing sores and wounds, and numbness and tingling in your hands and feet.
If you start showing multiple signs on this list, speak to our office about getting screened for type 2 diabetes. If not treated properly, this illness can affect many different parts of the body, leading to conditions like gastroparesis, diabetic retinopathy, gum disease, heart disease, kidney disease, fatty liver disease, nerve damage, stroke, sexual dysfunction, and leg and foot ulcers.
There are some basic things you can do to avoid type 2 diabetes, such as:
Increasing your amount of physical activity and exercise can reduce your chances of getting diabetes. Aim for 150 minutes weekly of aerobic exercise, even if that’s simply walking more regularly or taking the stairs.
Reducing the amount of saturated fats and refined sugars and increasing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help your body cope better with blood sugar spikes and dips. Eating smaller portions can also help to reduce your chances of getting diabetes.
Getting tested for type 2 diabetes can determine what steps you need to take. If you have elevated blood sugar, you may be diagnosed with prediabetes, which can develop into diabetes if left untreated.
If you have the signs of diabetes, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Allen and Allen Wellness & Medical Center today to get the help you need.