During National Diabetes Month, it is worth examining how a practice that has multiple specialties is an excellent choice for patients who have, or suspect they might have, diabetes. This year’s focus of Diabetes Month is on prediabetes and preventing the development of diabetes.
Could you be pre-diabetic?
Prediabetes is a serious health condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults have prediabetes—that’s 88 million people—but the majority of people don’t know they have it. There is some good news, it is a fact that preventing diabetes is a reachable goal. What it takes is sensible, small, healthy lifestyle changes and a willingness to pay attention to the signs and symptoms and act on them early.
Do you have diabetes?
The Centers for Disease Control defines diabetes as a long-lasting health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
Warning signs of developing type 2 diabetes
Diabetes can cause serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney, eye and foot problems. You are more likely to develop diabetes if some of these factors ring a bell?
- overweight or obese
- age 45 or older
- have a family history of diabetes
- African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
- have high blood pressure
- have a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, or a high level of triglycerides
- have a history of gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
- are not physically active
- have a history of heart disease or stroke
- have depression
- polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS
Ask your provider how to prevent diabetes
If you have some of the conditions listed above, it’s time to talk to your healthcare provider.
- Primary care provider – Most people will begin by visiting their primary care provider. If you don’t have one, now would be a great time to choose one. When you choose a primary care provider who’s part of a multi-specialty practice, they can easily refer you to one or several specialist physicians who can help you deal with conditions that can develop as a result of diabetes or prediabetes. Some specialties that can help:
- Endocrinologist: – This doctor (MD or DO) specializes in diabetes and other diseases of the endocrine system (the system that produces hormones such as insulin). People with type 1 diabetes are often under the care of an endocrinologist who can design and manage your treatment plan. Sometimes, people with type 2 diabetes may also need an endocrinologist if they have trouble getting their blood glucose levels under control.
- Cardiologist: – Diabetes can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. High blood sugar levels can make a patient more susceptible to artery blockages and diabetes tends to lead to an unhealthy cholesterol profile. Cardiologists will be a valuable part of the team to prevent impacts of diabetes on your heart and vascular system.
- Nephrologist: – The kidneys are vulnerable to diabetes and evaluation by a kidney specialist – a nephrologist – will help keep your whole system healthy and control kidney disorders.
- Podiatrist: – Diabetes can prevent blood flow to small blood vessels, in particular to the feet. It can also cause nerve damage and reduce the ability for blisters and cuts on the feet to heal properly. The first step to avoid long term damage is for you to examine your feet daily. But those who have type 1 diabetes should visit a podiatrist to have an annual foot exam beginning five years after diagnosis. People with type 2 diabetes should have this foot exam yearly beginning at diagnosis. This exam should include a monofilament test along with a pinprick, temperature, or vibration sensation test.
The benefits of having all these specialities in one multi-speciality practice
A multi-specialty practice, such as Premier Medical Group, is of tremendous value to someone who has the potential to develop diabetes or is already received. When highly trained and compassionate providers work together with a patient, the outcomes are better. If you’re the patient, you’ll feel better because all of your specialists are collaborating in your care and helping you have a healthy high quality life, even with diabetes.
Fast facts on diabetes
- Total: 34.2 million people have diabetes (10.5% of the US population)
- Diagnosed: 26.9 million people, including 26.8 million adults
- Undiagnosed: 7.3 million people (21.4% are undiagnosed)
- Total: 88 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes (34.5% of the adult US population)
Premier Medical Group has the specialties you need, starting with a primary care provider
Consider your primary care physician your best source for information on all kinds of things that will help you lead a healthier lifestyle: things like weight management, smoking cessation, help with alcohol and drug use, and managing stress and anxiety. In addition, they can help you navigate chronic conditions such as diabetes. Start your journey to better health, make an appointment at Premier Medical Group’s Internal Medicine Division by visiting us at: https://www.premiermedicalhv.com/specialties/internal-medicine/ or call 1-888-632-6099.