About 12% of all adults have diabetes, with the vast majority developing type 2 diabetes as they age. You may not notice symptoms when diabetes begins, so it’s so important to get regular wellness exams from Dr. Tariq Khan at Orange County Concierge Doctor. He can help identify early signs of diabetes and provide ongoing nutritional and medical support after diabetes is diagnosed. Call his office in Tustin, California, or go online to schedule an appointment for diabetes care.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes commonly develops in middle-aged and older adults, but it may also appear in teens and young adults. This chronic condition occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal because your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or your body can’t use the insulin that’s produced.
You may not notice symptoms because they’re subtle at first. These are the earliest signs of type 2 diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Blurred vision
- Increased hunger
- Numbness or tingling in feet or hands
- Sores that don’t heal
Are you at risk for developing diabetes?
You have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight or physically inactive, or if you have any of the following:
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides
- Low HDL ("good cholesterol")
- History of heart disease or stroke
It’s important to know that you may prevent type 2 diabetes before it develops by taking steps to change these risk factors.
What health complications are associated with type 2 diabetes?
Your body can’t tolerate chronic high blood sugar. Over time, too much blood sugar damages your nerves and small blood vessels, which leads to serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetic neuropathy, and blindness.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the top two causes of kidney disease and failure. It also increases the risk of infections in your feet that don’t heal properly, causing severe damage and possibly a need for amputation of feet or toes.
How is type 2 diabetes treated?
Diabetes treatment focuses on keeping blood sugar under control. You may be able to keep blood sugar within normal limits with lifestyle changes, so treatment begins with a review of your diet. Your individualized treatment plan may include any of the following:
- Healthy diet: Blood sugar spikes after eating certain carbohydrates, so Dr. Khan provides complete nutritional support and helps you create a balanced meal plan.
- Exercise: Physical activity lowers blood sugar, improves circulation, and helps you maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure.
- Medications: Dr. Khan may consider prescribing medication if lifestyle changes fail to control your blood sugar levels. Many medications are available to help lower glucose or to increase insulin production.