Type 2 diabetes is serious. It can affect your heart health, kidney health, eye health, and the healthy function of numerous other vital body systems. It typically starts silently, so you may be unaware of the damage being done until your symptoms are significant enough to grab your attention.
If you’re prediabetic, it means type 2 diabetes may be lurking in your future. Fortunately, you can make changes in your lifestyle that can significantly lower your risk of developing diabetes and its associated complications.
The healthcare providers at Rose Urgent Care & Family Practice are experts at diabetic care. But they would much rather help you develop a preventive strategy now than allow you to ignore your issues, requiring you to rely on their diabetic expertise in the future.
They’re happy to explain how they diagnose prediabetes, its relationship to type 2 diabetes, and what you can do to help decrease your future risks of developing diabetes.
To better understand prediabetes, it’s helpful to know what occurs during type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, your body retains too much sugar (glucose) in your bloodstream due to a faulty response to insulin.
All the cells in your body rely on glucose to provide the fuel they need to function at peak capacity. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that signals your cells to absorb the glucose they need.
When you have type 2 diabetes, your cells have become insulin-resistant. This decreases their ability to absorb glucose, which makes your blood sugar levels abnormally high and can eventually lead to the health complications associated with diabetes.
When you’re prediabetic, your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but haven’t yet reached the diabetic level.
How do you test for prediabetes?
For children, adolescents, and adults considered at-risk for developing prediabetes, we often include prediabetes screening in wellness exams.
Common screening labs include:
This simple test takes a measure of your blood sugar level after you’ve fasted for six to eight hours. We take a tiny drop of blood via a finger stick, transfer the blood to a glucose strip which we then insert in to a small, handheld device (glucose meter) that provides a blood sugar level within seconds.
This blood test is especially helpful because it measures your average blood sugar level over the last two to three months rather than just providing a snapshot of a single blood sugar reading. It doesn’t require fasting, so it can be done anytime, but it does require a blood draw, so we may recommend it along with other labs, such as a cholesterol check if you’re due for that.
This test is often recommended for pregnant women to rule out gestational diabetes. For this test, we check your blood glucose level at the start of the test and then again two hours later, after you’ve had a sugary drink. It helps us determine whether your blood sugar levels rise and then fall normally as your body distributes insulin.
Anyone can develop prediabetes, but some individuals are at a higher risk. This includes:
Our first line of support at Rose Urgent Care & Family Practice includes providing adequate education that helps you understand the significance of prediabetes. We then partner with you to create a strategy that helps normalize your blood sugar levels.
This may include:
We might also recommend medication such as metformin to help lower your blood sugar levels as necessary. Very often, however, prediabetes responds well to changes in diet and activity levels.
We’re here to help you live an active and healthy life. If you’re concerned about prediabetes, make an appointment today at Rose Urgent Care & Family Clinic for an evaluation.