Clinical Q&A: Type 2 Diabetes
ARE YOU AT RISK? Type 2 Diabetes
Every 21 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report 20171, 30.2 million people in the United States have diabetes and 23% of people with diabetes don’t know they have it. More than 84 million people in the U.S. have prediabetes, which is an abnormal condition of elevated blood sugars that often precedes type 2 diabetes. A majority of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it! We spoke with BID-Plymouth Chief Clinical Dietician, Carol Burns, RD, MS, CNSC to find out more about type 2 diabetes, signs and symptoms, and some risk factors.
Q: WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Type 2 diabetes is the more common type of diabetes. It is a chronic condition in which the body fails to properly make or use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps get glucose into your cells to produce energy. When a person has type 2 diabetes, instead of using that glucose to produce energy, it will back up in the bloodstream and cause a variety of symptoms.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS OF TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Symptoms may not be present at first because type 2 can develop gradually over time. High blood sugar levels can result in symptoms including thirst, frequent urination, tiredness, listlessness, nausea, and dizziness. If the blood sugar levels are extremely high, symptoms may escalate to confusion, drowsiness, and even loss of consciousness.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME RISK FACTORS OF TYPE 2?
There are numerous risk factors that can lead to type 2. This form of diabetes results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly. ? Having prediabetes (blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes) ? Being overweight ? Being 45 years or older ? Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes ? Being physically active less than 3 times a week ? Ever having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds.
Q: IS TYPE 2 DIABETES PREVENTABLE?
Research has shown that there are some ways of preventing type 2 diabetes, or at least delaying its onset. Lifestyle changes such as becoming more active (or staying active, if you already engage in regular physical activity) and making sure your weight stays in a healthy range are two ways to help ward off type 2 diabetes, but talk to your doctor about what else you can do to prevent or manage the disease.