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Could You Be Diabetic and Not Know It?

Could You Be Diabetic and Not Know It?

According to healthline, 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 8.1 million others may be undiagnosed or unaware of their condition. Could you be someone with undiagnosed diabetes? We sat down with Medical Weight Loss Expert Sheryl Bingham, FNP-C, to talk about the warning signs and symptoms of diabetes.

Q: What is diabetes?

A: Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your glucose (blood sugar) is too high. Glucose comes from food that you eat and serves as your main source of energy. Insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas, helps glucose get into your cells to be used for energy. If your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, then the glucose stays in your bloodstream instead of reaching your cells. It’s at that point that a person is considered diabetic.

Diabetes comes in two types. If you have type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. As a result, your body loses the ability to produce insulin entirely. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your body simply does not produce or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, though it most often occurs in middle-aged people. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented.

Q: What are the signs that you might be type 2 diabetic?

A: It can be a challenge because until your diabetes gets severe, it can be very difficult to detect. You can be diabetic for years and have no idea. That said, there are several clues that might indicate that you either have a higher likelihood of developing diabetes or that you might be diabetic already and not yet know it:

  1. If you carry your excess weight mostly in your belly
  2. If you have multiple skin tags
  3. If you have areas of darkened or velvety skin, usually around your neck, armpits, or groin
  4. If you have high cholesterol
  5. If you have high blood pressure
  6. If you have a family history of diabetes, obesity, or heart disease
  7. If you have a history of gestational diabetes
  8. If you’ve suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome
  9. If you have a fatty liver

Q: Skin tags can be a sign of diabetes? Why?

A: First, let me stress that just because you might have multiple skin tags, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes. However, a recent study confirmed that there can be a correlation. The cause of skin tags in people with diabetes is unclear, but it appears to be connected to the body’s resistance to insulin.

Q: What is the best way to avoid becoming type 2 diabetic?

A: The best way to avoid developing type 2 diabetes is through eating a healthy, low-carb, well-balanced diet. Fats are okay, but make sure that they are good natural fats. To keep it simple, avoid all processed food (anything that comes in a box or can), fast-food, junk food, soda, or sugary foods. Try to eat whole foods whenever possible.

Sheryl Bingham

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Sheryl Bingham, please click here or call 801-397-6150.