It’s become a public health notice—a serious health condition that doctors say is now starting to affect children. “Because of the obesity crisis in our kids, a lot of kids now are developing type two diabetes,” said Dr. Salvatore Lacagnina, an internal medicine physician with Lee Health.
Type two diabetes is a chronic condition that can cause a long list of health concerns. “Diabetes, in and of itself, is the leading cause of blindness, amputations, kidney failure, people end up on dialysis, and that really shortens the course of their quality of life,” said Dr. Lacagnina.
In addition to developing type two diabetes, doctors say an unhealthy diet and lifestyle can also put patients at risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer. “If you have an individual that has high blood sugar, they are going to have a higher risk of dementia; they are going to have a higher risk of heart disease, strokes, early death if you will,” he said.
In many cases, type two diabetes can be prevented. “A lot of patients will say, I just inherited bad genes. I think in most cases, what they actually inherited was a bad lifestyle. They inherit a bad way of eating, they don’t exercise enough, and they are sedentary,” Dr. Lacagnina said.
He encourages regular physical activity and limiting foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. “Take control of what you eat. Take control of how you live as far as your activity; manage your stress, your sleep, things like that,” he said.
Improving your lifestyle not only deactivates bad genes, but it can also prevent the onset of type two diabetes.