It can affect any age and cause serious health concerns. “What is so concerning about type two diabetes is very often you have no symptoms at all. That is why if you’re over the age of 45, it is recommended that you’re screened annually for diabetes,” explained Sharon Krispinsky, a chronic health program coordinator with Lee Health.
Over 30 million Americans are living with type two diabetes, but studies show one-third of that population does not realize they have the disease. “We can test for diabetes several different ways. The physicians can order fasting blood glucose, and if it’s greater than 126 on two occasions, that is diagnostic of diabetes,” she said.
An A1C test can also be used to determine your risk for type two diabetes. A1C measures your average blood sugar control over the past three months. Patients are considered diabetic if their A1C is greater than 6.5.
“We can prevent type two diabetes by adopting a healthier lifestyle, five to seven percent of weight loss, exercising 150 minutes a week--We can reduce the incidence of type two diabetes in those individuals by about 58 percent,” said Krispinsky.
With healthy lifestyle changes, like stress management, physical activity, and weight loss, type two diabetes is also reversible. But if left untreated, it can cause serious health concerns. “What we see with type two diabetes is it primarily affects the large blood vessels so that we will see complications such as heart attacks, strokes, we will see foot infections that could lead to amputations,” she said.
Making it important to know your risk for developing type two diabetes and maintain a healthy lifestyle.