Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects more than 30 million people in the United States. It has multiple types, and there are risk factors you should be aware about. It is extra important to be educated this American Diabetes Awareness Month by staying educated about the disease and what you can do if you or a family member are borderline diabetic--and yes, you can be prediabetic and not even know it!
AFC Urgent Care Worcester is here to help you learn about the risk factors for diabetes so you can avoid developing it.
You May Be At Risk For More Than One Type Of Diabetes
Did you know that there is more than one type of diabetes? The most common ones are type 1 and 2 diabetes, but pregnant women can also develop gestational diabetes, which may cause some complications and possible development of diabetes in newborns!
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. Let’s take a look at each type.
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.
You Might Be Prediabetic And Not Even Know It!
There are many people who are diagnosed with diabetes who wish they would have reacted sooner to the warning signs. Prediabetes is an actual thing, and there are millions of people in the United States who suffer from it, but who also have the opportunity to prevent getting the more common type 2 diabetes. If you notice any of these symptoms and risks, it’s imperative that you go to the doctor to get tested. These symptoms and risks include one or more of the following:
What are the risk factors for diabetes
- Being overweight (Childhood obesity)
- 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 your doctor or to come in to AFC Urgent Care Worcester. A medical professional can provide better insight on ways to manage these symptoms to prevent developing full blown diabetes.
How Can You Prevent Diabetes:
The first step in preventing diabetes is to get a check up and know your blood sugar levels! An A1C test can help you determine where your blood sugar levels are at. From there you can speak with one of our providers, or your doctor about prevention.
Diabetes often leads to other serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage and more. If you manage your symptoms or diabetes now you have a better chance at reducing your risk for other health complications down the road.
Lifestyle modifications may be required to get your blood sugar levels in check. This may include dietary changes, more exercise and more blood monitoring. If you already have the disease, know that there are still management tools to help you stay on track mentally and physically.
Routine A1C Tests At AFC Urgent Care Worcester
If you or a loved one is concerned about health risks, family history or symptoms associated with diabetes, AFC Urgent Care Worcester is here to help.
At AFC Urgent Care Worcester, we can provide a routine check up and get blood work done (an a1c test) to determine your blood sugar levels. We are open 7 days a week for both walk-ins and appointments. We hope you enjoy the holiday season and plan for routine blood work before and after the holiday sweets and treats!