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House Call: Type 2 Diabetes

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 1:01 PM EDT
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Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Your chances of developing type 2 diabetes depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. Joining us tonight for a special look into Type 2 diabetes is Dr. Ayesha Jameel, Endocrinologist at Bridgeport Endocrinology.

1). Let us start by talking about what is type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by high levels of glucose (commonly referred to as sugar) in the blood. To use glucose as energy, your body needs insulin. Over time, high blood glucose levels can lead to serious diabetes complications.

The most prevalent form of diabetes (more than 90%), is type 2 diabetes. This is where your body does not make enough insulin or is unable to use it well—and your body’s cells are incapable of using glucose for the energy it needs. When glucose stays in your blood, it can cause serious problems.

2). Is prediabetes a stage of the disease?

Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they usually have “prediabetes”—blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Doctors sometimes refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used when it was detected. This condition puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years.

Results indicating prediabetes are:

· An A1C of 5.7%–6.4%

· Fasting blood sugar of 100–125 mg/dl

· An OGTT 2 hour blood sugar of 140 mg/dl–199 mg/dl

3). What can you do to prevent type 2 diabetes?

You will not develop type 2 diabetes automatically if you have prediabetes. For some people with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood sugar levels to the normal range.

An equally important part of managing type 2 diabetes is developing a healthy diet. Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by: · Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) Do not worry if you cannot get to your ideal body weight. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference.

Fitness is a key part of managing type 2. The good news is that all you have to do is get moving. You do not have to become an ultra-marathoner. You can start slowly with a walk around the block or a simple bike ride. The key is to find activities you love and do them as often as you can.

· Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week is a good choice.

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