When was the last time you were screened for prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes? Have you ever been screened for diabetes? Knowing if you have diabetes greatly increases your chances of living a longer and happier life.
Screening for Diabetes
Many people with diabetes are unaware they have the disease because they show few, if any, symptoms. The risks associated with an untreated diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis, however, are severe: long-term complications of diabetes include heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, and blindness.
Thankfully, receiving a diabetes screening is simple. Schedule an appointment with your PCP or any healthcare provider, and a nurse and doctor will prick your finger to draw out a small amount of blood. And, that’s it. Once your doctor determines if you are diabetic or prediabetic they can make recommendations to help you manage your disease.
The good news is that, unlike many other diseases, you have control when it comes to the health outcomes related to your prediabetes and type 2 diabetes diagnosis. If you have prediabetes, for instance, you can make lifestyle alterations to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. At the same time, many patients with type 2 diabetes are able to manage their health risks, such as the likelihood of developing heart disease, without medication. In some cases, diabetes complications, such as neuropathy or kidney damage, can even be reversed if the damage is not too severe, and if the patient has not had these ailments for a significant period of time.
Controlling Your Diabetes: It’s All About Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes
When it comes to preventing prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes, or managing your type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes are critical.
Most physicians recommend that those with diabetes reduce their body fat. Being overweight or obese is the primary cause of type 2 diabetes. While your doctor can give you tips on how to reduce your body fat, eating healthy foods and getting active are two ways to manage your disease.
Going on 30-minute walk 5 days a week is a great way to lower your risk of complications from diabetes.
Some with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes will require medication to control their blood sugar levels regardless of their diet or commitment to exercise. It’s important that you discuss the best way to manage your diabetes with your doctor.
The bottom line, however, is that you need to know your diabetes status before you can take a proactive approach to managing your health.
To find a primary care doctor near you to schedule a physical and diabetes screening, visit www.pardeehospital.org.