When your body can’t handle sugar from your food and drink correctly, the condition is called diabetes. Most people who are diabetic have what is known as Type 2 diabetes, which usually shows up in adulthood and affects nearly 30 million Americans. Another 84 million have what is known as “prediabetes.”
At Healthy Life Family Medicine in Goodyear, Arizona, John Monroe, MD can identify signs of prediabetes (the precursor to Type 2), and create a treatment plan to help you avoid developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes basics
Your pancreas makes the hormone insulin, which is responsible for managing the amount of sugar in your blood. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or if your blood cells become insulin resistant, you can end up with high blood sugar after a meal and when you wake up in the morning.
If diabetes isn’t strictly controlled, you can develop life-threatening health conditions. Diabetes significantly increases your risk for:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Nerve damage, especially in your feet
- Cardiovascular disease or heart attack
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
- Alzheimer’s disease
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas makes no insulin. It usually shows up early in childhood. Type 2 diabetes creeps up on you, with many adults lingering in a prediabetic state for years. If you can catch the symptoms while you are prediabetic, you may be able to avoid Type 2 diabetes.
Know your risks
You’re more likely to develop prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes if:
- You’re 45 years of age or older
- Some of your close relatives have diabetes
- You eat a lot of red meat, sugar, and processed foods
- There’s a lot of extra weight around your abdomen and waist
- You don’t exercise
- You have a sleep disorder
- You have a history of gestational diabetes, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
People of certain ethnicities, including Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders have a higher risk for diabetes.
Early-stage prediabetes may have almost no symptoms, meaning you could be prediabetic for years without knowing. However, if you are experiencing any of the following, you could have prediabetes that is tipping over into Type 2 diabetes:
- Darkening patches of skin around your joints
- Fatigue that can’t be explained, especially after eating
- Blurry vision, often accompanied by eye strain
- Constant thirst that isn’t quenched by drinking
- Frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate
Dr. Monroe can diagnose prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes with a simple blood glucose test. If your blood glucose levels are only slightly elevated, she may be able to create a nutrition and exercise plan for you to keep your levels under control. If your levels are high, she may recommend oral medication or injectable insulin in addition to your nutrition and exercise plan.
To learn more about your risk for pre-diabetes or to request testing, contact our office at 623-232-9194 or use our scheduling tool to reserve an appointment time online.