Diabetes has risen at an alarming rate. Once uncommon, today more than 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, and more than 7 million of them are unaware they have it. It’s important to know if you have undiagnosed diabetes. When you come in for a visit with us at Jacinto Medical Group, your provider can confirm whether or not you have it. Being aware of the symptoms can help you be on the lookout for any signs that you’re developing diabetes.
When you have Type 2 diabetes your body is unable to effectively manage the amount of glucose in your blood, causing levels to remain too high. This can happen when your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin -- a blood sugar-regulating hormone -- or when your cells fail to respond appropriately to insulin.
In most people with Type 2 diabetes, their pancreas produces enough insulin, yet the cells fail to respond effectively. This is known as insulin resistance. As a result, the pancreas produces more insulin to compensate, setting off a vicious cycle.
Over time, the pancreas may lose its ability to keep up with the body’s demand for insulin, and you’ll need to take insulin as a replacement. However, it can take years for this to happen if it does. Most people with Type 2 diabetes don’t require insulin.
The best way to find out your diabetes status is to visit us. At Jacinto Medical Group, our team of physicians and nurses can perform an A1C test to check your average blood glucose level over the previous three months. Normal levels fall below 5.7, while an A1C of 6.5 or higher on two separate tests means you have diabetes.
Your provider may also perform a fasting blood glucose test to check your blood sugar levels. This test is typically performed in the morning after you fast overnight. A blood glucose below 100 mg/dl is normal, while a fasting blood glucose of 126 mg/dl or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes.
People with Type 2 diabetes can have mild symptoms, symptoms that are difficult to recognize, or no symptoms at all. When people do have symptoms, the most common ones are:
Keep in mind that these symptoms could be signs of various other conditions. If you have any of these symptoms, discuss them with your healthcare provider. The only way to know for sure if you have Type 2 diabetes is to get tested.
Keeping your blood sugar within a target range is key to avoiding complications and living well with Type 2 diabetes. When blood sugar remains too high, it damages many parts of the body, such as blood vessels, and reduces sensation and blood flow to parts of the body. Untreated diabetes can cause nerve, kidney, and eye damage, and can even lead to amputation and death.
Diet and lifestyle changes play a key role in living well with Type 2 diabetes. Your doctor may prescribe medication if diet and lifestyle changes aren’t enough to bring your blood glucose within a safe range. Our team at Jacinto Medical Group can work with you to create a Type 2 diabetes management plan that works for you. Lifestyle changes that help manage Type 2 diabetes include:
Dietary changes that can help manage your Type 2 diabetes include:
Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia, so it’s best to limit alcohol if you have Type 2 diabetes. If you choose to have an alcoholic beverage, avoid doing so on an empty stomach, and check your blood sugar before drinking, while drinking, and after you drink.
You need to check your blood sugar more often for 24 hours after drinking. Check your blood sugar if you feel sleepy, dizzy, or confused. These symptoms may indicate that you’re experiencing low blood sugar.
You can live well with diabetes. Without treatment though, diabetes can cause serious health problems. For testing and diabetes management, call one of our convenient locations in Baytown and La Porte, Texas, to schedule an appointment or book online using our web form.