‘At-risk’ for Type 2 diabetes? Know beyond Risk-assessment tools.

Type 2 diabetes: Introduction

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes, is the most common type of diabetes. About 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older people. People who are overweight and inactive are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

In type 2 and other types of diabetes, there is too much glucose, also called sugar, in the blood. People with diabetes have problems converting food to energy. After a meal, food is broken down into glucose, which is carried by your blood to cells throughout your body. With the help of the hormone insulin, cells absorb glucose from your blood and use it for energy. Insulin is made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach.

Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition linked to excess weight in which your body’s cells do not use insulin properly. As a result, your body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells. At first, your pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. But in time, your pancreas loses its ability to produce enough insulin, and blood glucose levels rise.

Over time, high blood glucose damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, dental disease, and amputations. Other problems of diabetes may include increased risk of getting other diseases, loss of mobility with aging, depression, and pregnancy problems.

Treatment includes taking diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, being physically active on a regular basis, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and for some, taking aspirin daily.

Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

The signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Nearly 7 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and don’t know they have the disease. Many have no signs or symptoms. Some people have symptoms but do not suspect diabetes. Symptoms include

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Increased urination, especially at night
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands, and sores that do not heal

Many people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes problems, such as blurred vision or heart trouble. If you find out early that you have diabetes, you can get treatment to prevent damage to your body.

People at High Risk for Diabetes

To find out your risk for type 2 diabetes, check each item that applies to you.

  • Age 45 or older.
  • Overweight or obese.
  • Parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
  • Belongs to a race including African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/ Latino, or Pacific Islander American.
  • Females had gestational diabetes or gave birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
  • Blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, or been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
  • Cholesterol levels are higher than normal. HDL, or good, cholesterol is below 35, or triglyceride level is above 250.
  • Having a fairly inactive.
  • Has polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS.
  • Diagnosed with pre-diabetes—an A1C level of 5.7 to 6.4 percent, impaired fasting glucose (IFG), or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
  • Has other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as a condition called acanthosis nigricans, characterised by a dark, velvety rash around my neck or armpits.
  • Has a history of cardiovascular disease.

Getting tested for diabetes and pre-diabetes

Anyone 35 years of age or older should consider getting tested for diabetes and pre-diabetes. Standard glucose tolerance, A1C test is used to diagnose type 2 diabetes. Having pre-diabetes means blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Having pre-diabetes also means increased risk for getting type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, one can reduce risk of getting diabetes and even return blood glucose levels to normal by losing a little weight through healthy eating and being more physically active.

Type 2 diabetes may be delayed or prevented

Studies have shown that weight loss through moderate diet changes and physical activity can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. However it’s very important to know the risk factors and individual’s risk for Diabetes and necessary actions to be taken on-time. Delayed screening is a missed opportunity to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes.

Risk assessment tools:

American Diabetes Association and other organisations has Type 2 diabetes risk assessment tools that are that provide risk of developing the condition. While these questioner based risk assessment tools provide an understand of risk based on general assumptions, these does not provide individual risk scores by directly screening the user. These tools are indirect and weak indicators.

Aarca Research ‘s product IHRA provides risk assessment for Type 2 diabetes and related comorbidities by directly screening for the impact of the glucose increase on vascular structures and calculates the risk score in a non-contact, painless way. This is a more fundamental, direct and more accurate method to know an individual’s risk. Explore IHRA solution here

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