It’s not an exaggeration to say that type 2 diabetes is a dangerous and far-reaching epidemic in the United States, because the statistics are sobering. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 37 million Americans live with diabetes, and 90-95% of them suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Equally concerning is that more than 2 million of these individuals are Floridians.
As an accomplished and highly respected internal medicine physician, Dr. Gurprit Sekhon, located in Panama City Beach, devotes her expertise to caring for those with type 2 diabetes, as well as a wide range of other conditions.
If you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you couldn’t be in better hands than being cared for by the Nu Wave Medical Center team. They’re knowledgeable, caring, and dedicated to giving you the most customized care possible.
How does type 2 diabetes develop, and who is at risk?
Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, type 2 diabetes typically emerges in middle age. Your body becomes unable to properly use insulin, an essential growth hormone that’s produced by your pancreas. As a result, you begin to experience an elevation in the glucose in your bloodstream.
Glucose is important because it’s the body’s primary source of energy and derived from the food you consume. Insulin’s critical job is to deliver the glucose in your bloodstream to your cells.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells don’t respond in the way they should to insulin, and your pancreas reacts by continuing to make insulin in an effort to get your cells to respond.
Your pancreas eventually gets overwhelmed trying to keep pace, and your blood sugar rises.
Type 2 diabetes is dangerous because it damages so many parts of the body and causes serious health problems. These include heart disease, kidney disease, and loss of vision.
Another nasty side effect of the disease is neuropathy, or tingling and numbness, often in the feet. It sets up a situation where you can’t sense whether you’ve gotten a cut or puncture in your skin. Once infection sets in, it’s easy for it to go unchecked and become increasingly serious. This puts you at risk for tissue death (necrosis) and even amputation.
The people at highest risk for developing type 2 diabetes are those who:
- Have prediabetes (higher than normal blood sugar level, but not considered diabetic)
- Are overweight or living with obesity
- Have a sedentary lifestyle
- Have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
- Are 45 years of age or older
- If female, have had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby over 9 pounds
- Are African American, Hispanic or Latino, or Native American
- Live with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Some Asian American people and Pacific Islanders have been found to be at higher risk as well. A worrisome fact is that, in the last 10 years, more adolescents and young adults have begun to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
I live with type 2 diabetes — can I reverse it?
The good news is that, unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be either prevented or reversed. It’s not curable, however, once you've been diagnosed.
Complete remission is when your glucose levels go back to a range that’s considered non-diabetic, while partial remission is when your glucose level is similar to someone with prediabetes. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may also need medication to help manage your diabetes.
You can reverse your diabetes, or enter remission, and even stop needing medication by making significant changes to your diet and losing weight. In addition to changing your diet, incorporating the recommended amount of exercise into your day really helps with weight loss and maintaining remission.
This translates into about 30-60 minutes of aerobic activity per day, five days a week, and strength training sessions twice a week. Fitting your aerobic activity in is easily doable if you find something you enjoy doing, from walking your dog to gardening to dancing.
If losing weight seems overwhelming, or if you don’t know where to start, Dr. Sekhon offers medical weight loss services. She offers guidance on what to eat in order to lose weight — think lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, legumes, and healthy fats, like those contained in avocados and nuts.
She works with you to create meal plans that are both good for your diabetes and appealing to you.
In addition to science-backed nutritional help, Dr. Sekhon offers all-important encouragement and partnership as you travel your path to weight loss and better diabetes oversight.
Let us help you manage your type 2 diabetes so you can live your healthiest life. Call our office at 850-666-4726, or request an appointment online.