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Type 2 Diabetes is a growing problem among the American population and worldwide. In fact, its estimated that roughly 27 million people have type 2 diabetes in the United States alone. The disease, which used to be known as adult onset Diabetes, is also affecting young adults and children in part because of childhood obesity. The good news is that in many cases, unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented through proper diet and exercise. But, it’s important to know the basics about type 2 diabetes.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your body does not use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that turns glucose (or sugar) from the food you consume into energy. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for this, but, over time your pancreas isn’t able to keep up and produce enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal and sugar builds up in your blood.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be easy to miss and include:
In most cases type 2 diabetes is diagnosed through blood work or a urine test.
Know Your Risks
Some people have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than others.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, prevention is key. Even if you are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, making healthy lifestyle choices can help in preventing the disease.
Treating and Even Curing Type 2 Diabetes
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there are treatment options available. Although there is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, you may be able to reverse the disease though diet changes and weight loss, which would eliminate the need for medication. However, type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness, which means that even if it’s considered in remission there’s always a chance it could come back. Read below for the most common treatment options.
How an Endocrinologist Can Help
While some people depend on their family physician to manage their type 2 diabetes it is often beneficial to see an Endocrinologist. An Endocrinologist is a specialist who treats those with hormone imbalances from within the endocrine system, including thyroid disorders and diabetes. Many people who have trouble controlling their type 2 diabetes are often referred to an endocrinologist to have their medications reassessed. I work with my patients to manage their condition and often include a healthcare team made up of a nutritionist, a fitness trainer and their primary care physician.
There are many benefits to seeing an endocrinologist when you have diabetes. They can help you gain control over the disease so that you maintain your best health and develop a management plan that works for you.
Diep Nguyen, DO is an endocrinologist with Coordinated Health who specializes in the treatment of diabetes and thyroid disorders. Her philosophy is to empower her patients with knowledge so that they can control their condition. She is also a big believer of diabetes awareness.