Are you at risk for diabetes? Understanding the risks and how to prevent it is important because there are more than one “type” of diabetes, and it can be confusing.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that continues to affect millions of people in the United States every year. And it’s growing.
As the disease can often feel like a life sentence of daily management, it is extra important to be educated this National Diabetes Awareness Month by staying educated about the disease and what you can do if you or a family member are borderline diabetic. AFC Urgent Care New Bedford encourages everyone to get their blood sugar levels checked regularly and to take the necessary steps to avoid developing full blown diabetes.
Diabetes has 3 major “types”
The 3 main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Lifestyle choices can be one of the factors that can cause diabetes. However, each type can also develop because of genetics or a family history of diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes is caused by an immune reaction where the body attacks itself by mistake. It’s less common than type 2, however this type of diabetes can stop your body from making insulin. Insulin is supposed to enable blood sugar to enter the cells in your body to be used for energy. Without insulin, blood sugar can’t get into the cells and builds up in the blood. High levels of blood sugar often leads to other health complications with the heart, kidneys and central nervous system. This type of diabetes is usually diagnosed in children, teens and young adults. If you are diagnosed with this type you’ll need to take insulin everyday to survive as high blood sugar may cause complications to other vital organs
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes that affects millions of people in the United States. It’s usually diagnosed in adults, but can develop at any age. Normally, bad lifestyle habits and behaviors like smoking, not getting enough exercise and poor diet can lead to diabetes type 2. Someone with type 2 diabetes has trouble with insulin regulation. As the body does not respond normally to insulin the body will produce more of it, which can often lead to higher levels of blood sugar. Once diagnosed with type 2, many individuals struggle with daily management and other health related complications.
Diabetes during pregnancy or “gestational diabetes” can be one of the more serious types as it can affect both you and your newborn. During pregnancy, a woman's body produces more hormones and goes through other changes, such as weight gain. According to the CDC all women have some insulin resistance during late pregnancy, which makes them more susceptible to developing gestational diabetes and even type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.
How do you know if you have diabetes? What are the warning signs?
There are many people who are diagnosed with diabetes wishing in retrospect that they would have reacted sooner to the warning signs. Prediabetes is an actual condition and there are millions of people in the United States walking around with it, but who also have the opportunity to prevent developing the more common type 2 diabetes. If you notice any of these symptoms and risks, it’s imperative that you go to the doctor or come into our New Bedford walk in clinic to be tested. These symptoms and risks include one or more of the following:
Risks for diabetes
- Being overweight (Childhood obesity as well)
- Family history of diabetes
- Not physically active
- Have high blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure
- Have low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
- Had diabetes during pregnancy
- Have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Symptoms of early onset diabetes
- Increased thirst and urination
- Blurred vision
- Unexpected weight loss
- Increased hunger
- Slow-healing sores and frequent infections
- Red, swollen gums
- Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or warning signs then it’s time to pay a visit to AFC Urgent Care New Bedford or to your doctor. A medical professional can provide better insight on ways to manage these symptoms and prevent full blown diabetes.
What can I do to prevent diabetes right now?
Diabetes often leads to other serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage and more. Managing your symptoms or diabetes now will afford you a better chance at reducing your risk for other health complications down the road.
An A1C test can help you determine where your blood sugar levels are at. From there you can speak with our providers or your doctor about prevention and next steps, if warranted. A lifestyle change may be required to get your blood sugar levels in check. This can include dietary changes, more exercise and more blood monitoring. If you already have the disease, know that there are still management tools available to help you stay on track both mentally and physically.
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford Offers Routine Blood Work For Diabetes
When was the last time you got your blood sugar levels checked? If you have to think hard about it, then chances are it’s been a while. AFC Urgent Care New Bedford can help with routine blood work for diabetes any day of the week.
We are located on 119 Coggeshall St. and we are open 7 days a week with extended hours on the weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm and we have weekend hours from 8 am to 5 pm. There is no appointment needed when visiting our center.