We want to welcome everyone to our latest health and wellness spotlight feature of the month blog post. We like to use these posts as a way to help educate our readers about a specific health concern or service we provide in a more in-depth manner. For July, we wanted to turn the spotlight on a very common, and sometimes very serious, health matter: diabetes. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the risk factors for diabetes as well as potential treatment options.
We wanted to begin by presenting some basic statistics about diabetes in the US to reinforce how common this condition is. Over 37 million Americans (just over 11% of the total population) are currently living with diabetes. Of these cases, nearly 9 million are undiagnosed. An additional 96 million people aged 18 years and up have prediabetes, a condition that greatly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That includes nearly half of all Americans age 65 and older.
In addition to prediabetes, common risk factors that can lead to diabetes include the following:
- Being overweight or obese, especially for those who carry a large amount of excess fat in their abdominal area
- A sedentary lifestyle, lacking in regular exercise and other physical activity
- A family history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Certain women’s health problems including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Advanced age, as the risk of developing diabetes, begins to increase annually once a person turns 45 according to experts
The symptoms of diabetes can vary depending on how elevated a person’s blood sugar levels are. In some people (specifically in cases of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes), there will be no symptoms at all. But some warning signs to look out for include feelings of increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight fluctuation, chronic fatigue or irritability, and blurred vision.
Thankfully, the effects of diabetes can be managed and treated in many cases. Regardless of whether a person was born with type 1 diabetes or develops type 2 diabetes later in life, doctors strongly recommend eating a healthy diet (rich in vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains) and getting regular exercise (at least 30 minutes daily). Additionally, there are many different kinds of medicines that can help patients with diabetes, depending on their unique needs.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information on diabetes, as well as additional health tips, news, and much more. If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Family Practice Center. We currently have four Atlanta area locations (Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming) to better accommodate our patients.