One of the most common disorders, Type 2 Diabetes, used to be most commonly seen in older, heavier adults. Recently, unfortunately, we see it being diagnosed in younger and younger patients. People are experiencing weight issues earlier in life and their diets and lack of exercise are making type 2 Diabetes harder to avoid!

Diabetes is a chronic condition that results from either fluctuating or consistently high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Glucose is the main source of energy that comes from the foods you eat and the hormone, insulin — that is produced in the pancreas — helps to break down blood glucose. When your pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or is exposed to high glucose levels where your pancreas cannot keep up with the insulin demand.

With diabetes, your body has trouble regulating the level of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream. And, because pretty much all food eventually breaks down to glucose, just at very different rates and in different ways, if your body isn’t making insulin properly to handle it, you’re in big trouble. You can offset this issue by eating foods like vegetables and quality protein that breaks down more slowly, giving your body time to handle the glucose. Exercising will help burn off the glucose and speed up your metabolism—an effect that continues even when you’re not working out. Being overweight stresses every organ in your body, but the pancreas that produces the insulin you need eventually just can’t keep up.

Who is at risk of developing diabetes?

Although Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, there are factors that put you at an increased risk of developing diabetes that include:

Overweight/ obese
Over 45 years old
Has a sibling or parent with Type 2 diabetes
Sedentary lifestyle
Diet high in processed foods and carbohydrates

Had gestational diabetes
Mother had gestational diabetes during your pregnancy
Are Black/ African-American, Hispanic/ Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander

At Taylor Internal Medicine, we’ll help you handle and even reverse your diabetes 2 and all the problems it can cause.
Diabetes 2 can cause:

Loss of limbs through amputation
Loss of mobility
Nerve pain from damaged nerves

Skin infections and disorders
Kidney disease
And much, much more.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is becoming more common, in fact, 30.3 million Americans have some form of diabetes and is the 7th leading cause of death.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, which is commonly referred to as Juvenile diabetes, is generally diagnosed at a young age. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make insulin because your body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Only about 5% of those who have diabetes have Type 1. Type 1 diabetes makes you insulin dependent and most people with this condition have a pump surgically implanted into the pancreas.

Type 2 Diabetes

Nearly 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in adults, but is becoming more common in teens and younger adults. Type 2 diabetes generally develops over time when the body loses its ability to use insulin well and can no longer keep blood glucose levels at a normal level.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition where women develop diabetes during pregnancy. Typically, gestational diabetes will resolve after delivery, but it does put the baby at higher risk for complications during pregnancy, childhood obesity, and developing Type 2 diabetes. Additionally, mothers who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are more prone to developing Type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Increased thirst
Frequent urination
Unexplained weight loss
Numbness or tingling in hands or feet

Blurred vision
Slow-healing sores
Frequent infections
Extreme hunger

What You Need to Know About Diabetes

There are many misconceptions about Diabetes and the management of the disease. Here are some things you need to know.

Sugar is not the only culprit.

Many people hear that high blood sugar levels cause diabetes. It is very important to understand that this “sugar” is glucose, and found in most foods, not just sugary foods and baked treats. What gets many Americans in big trouble with this misconception is that cutting out the sugar alone will not prevent Type 2 diabetes. Common culprits of elevated blood glucose include:

Carbs, especially processed foods — bread, pasta, rice
Fruit-flavored processed foods
Flavored milk, creamer, and yogurt
Flavored coffee
Soda, yes even “sugar-free”

Breakfast foods — oatmeal, cereal, baked breakfast goods
Dried fruit
Packaged snack foods
Fruit juice

This is not to say that these items should be eliminated from your diet, but they should be consumed in moderation, they are not healthy, and they will raise your blood glucose. If you are prediabetic, reducing or eliminating these foods and increasing physical activity may prevent you from developing diabetes.

How Diabetes is Managed

Prediabetes is a condition where your body is not fully processing the blood glucose, but it has not developed into full diabetes, and with lifestyle modifications, you should be able to reverse the damage and avoid medications. This is ideal, to identify it and get ahead of it!

Once diabetes is diagnosed — with a variety of tests — treatment will vary based on the severity and symptoms. For some people, oral medication — Metformin or pancreas-stimulating medications — or insulin injections and monitoring of blood glucose levels. You and your internal medicine doctor will develop a treatment plan that is likely to change over the first few months as you adjust to treatment.

At Taylor Internal Medicine, we can diagnose, treat, and manage your diabetes. Contact us to schedule your evaluation today!

For more information about your symptoms or how to manage your diabetes, visit these online resources:

American Diabetes Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention