Find and Treat Diabetes Early
Best Tactic for Diabetes? Find and Treat It Early
Over 30 million Americans have diabetes, but 7 million of those people are not yet diagnosed!* Are you one of them? Getting tested is a smart step for your long-term health.
Diabetes is a life-altering disease, and it’s important to catch it early. The earlier you detect diabetes, the better your chances of avoiding future health problems, including heart attack, kidney disease, limb amputation and blindness.
With diabetes, there is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. This occurs when a person’s body is unable to produce or use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in our bodies. There are two types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. It occurs when the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Type 1 can be managed with daily insulin injections.
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 percent of cases. It occurs when your body resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough.
If left untreated, either form of diabetes can increase the risk of serious health complications.
Learn Your Risk Factors and Get Screened
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include a family history of diabetes, age 45+, being overweight, infrequent/irregular physical activity and certain races/ethnicities (including Pacific Islander, Asian-American, Mexican-American and African-American). Also, women who had diabetes during pregnancy are at higher risk.
If you have one or more risk factors for diabetes or notice any of the above symptoms, talk with your doctor about being screened as soon as possible. If you receive a diabetes diagnosis, you are not alone. Ask your doctor about diabetes education and nutrition support.
Think of Exercise as Diabetes “Medicine”
It’s important to make physical activity a part of your life. If you don’t have diabetes, regular exercise can help prevent the disease. If you do have diabetes and you exercise regularly, it can lower your blood pressure and blood sugars—and can even prevent the need for diabetes medication for a long period of time.
You don’t need to run a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise! Walking between 6,000 and 10,000 steps daily is an attainable goal for most people. Use a step counter—or simply count your steps for 5 minutes and do some math. If you have mobility problems, water aerobics is a great alternative. Whatever you do, aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 20-30 minutes every day.
If you are looking for a primary care provider, we invite you to meet the PacMed Primary Care team. If you are already living with diabetes or have recently been diagnosed, the PacMed Diabetes Management Program offers comprehensive medical care, health education and support.
*Statistics as reported in the 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).