As one of the fastest growing diseases, diabetes is a buzzword in American culture. At The Mollen Clinic, providers offer comprehensive diabetes education and care to ensure every at-risk individual understands the severity of this condition. The team at The Mollen Clinic equips patients with practical knowledge to recognize, treat and prevent diabetes.
How is America Affected by Diabetes?
Reports from 2012 recorded that 9.3 percent of Americans have diabetes. Out of the 29.1 million individuals, only 21 million were actually diagnosed. Fortunately, numbers have decreased slightly since 2010.
Reading the Signs: Are You at Risk?
Symptoms of diabetes can vary, depending on the type. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed at birth because doctors quickly notice if there is a lack of insulin. Type 1 is often seen in children and young adults; the population suffering from this form of diabetes only represents 10 percent of people with the disease.
Type 2 is more common in the U.S. than type 1. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, weakness, tingling sensation in hands and feet and blurred vision. While there are other small indicators, these symptoms cover the most important signs of type 2 diabetes. Patients over the age of 40 should make an appointment to check blood pressure. If you have an upcoming wellness exam at The Mollen Clinic, your blood pressure will be monitored and recorded. [LINK TO ‘Blood Pressure Tips’ PAGE]
The Diabetes Diagnosis
To diagnose diabetes in a patient, providers typically perform a number of fasting blood sugar tests like fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Another standard test is an A1C (glycohemoglobin) test.
All tests involve drawing blood, which is sent for further study at a lab. For each test, the providers are looking for specific blood sugar levels in the results to support a diabetes diagnosis.
Diabetes is confirmed when the FPG shows 126 or more milligrams of glucose (mL/dL), when blood tests consistently show over 200 mL/dL, when OGTT shows over 200 mL/dL and when A1C is 6.5 percent or higher on two different occasions.
How To Prevent Diabetes
Whether you receive a pre-diabetes diagnosis or simply want to avoid getting the disease in the future, there are several practical steps individuals can take toward maintaining good health. Pre-diabetes means a person shows abnormally high blood sugar levels, but levels aren’t high enough to be diagnosed type 2.
Fortunately, diabetes, pre-diabetes and absence of diabetes is largely influenced by diet. Changing your diet may help reverse symptoms, lower blood pressure and provide a long and healthy life. Although lifestyle changes are challenging, the long-term results are worth the efforts.
The Diet: Preventing Diabetes
Start filling your meals with “superfoods” – low glycemic index (GI) foods like beans, leafy greens (such as kale), oranges, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and more. Alcohol should be used in moderation (if at all), and sugar should be eliminated altogether.
While it’s hard for many people to give up desserts, decadent casseroles and bacon, the future results are worth the discomfort of the transition. A key element for success is changing your mindset. Instead of dwelling on foods you can’t eat, find creative ways to enjoy new foods. Be sure to develop a plan for quick breakfasts and lunches throughout the week to avoid the temptation of resorting to old unhealthy habits.
Treatment Options for Diabetes
Controlling diabetes successfully requires a committed effort from the patient to trying lifestyle changes. For best results, patients should maintain a healthy diet, exercise consistently five times a week and stay on track with medications. The combination of these factors should keep blood sugar at or below the level your provider recommends. Diabetic medications and insulin therapy may also be available through your provider at The Mollen Clinic.
Diabetes Diagnosis? Schedule An Appointment With a Provider.
While diabetes poses serious risk for patients, there are many practical steps individuals can take towards reversing their condition. Your health care team at The Mollen Clinic desires to empower patients with the knowledge they need to take control of their body and circumstances. To begin working toward a healthier future, schedule an appointment with a health care professional at The Mollen Clinic. Call our Scottsdale office at 480-656-0016.