Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t properly use or produce insulin, which leads to high blood sugar. While some people can control blood sugar levels with diet and exercise, others need medicines to manage it. The good news? You have options, and we’re here to offer the support and resources you need.
Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that disrupts the way your body uses sugar, causing problems with the way your body stores and processes energy. The cells in your body use sugar for energy, and that sugar gets into your cells with the help of a hormone made in the pancreas called insulin. When there is not enough insulin available or if your body stops responding to insulin, it causes sugar to build up in the blood instead of getting to your cells. This can lead to many serious health issues.
The two most common types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops working. This is due to an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults, but it can develop at any time.
With the more common type 2 diabetes (often called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar), the body stops responding to insulin (also called insulin resistance). As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin. Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up, causing your blood sugar to rise.
Diabetes is incredibly common, impacting about 10.5% of the American population. Of the 34 million Americans who have diabetes, about 90% of them have type 2 diabetes — and an estimated 8 million Americans don’t even know they have it! While most people develop type 2 diabetes after the age of 45, it can develop in younger patients.
Undiagnosed diabetes or uncontrolled diabetes can lead to high blood sugar levels. If levels of sugar remain high in the blood, it can lead to both short-term and long-term health problems, such as:
While there’s no one specific cause of type 2 diabetes, we do know that a combination of genetic and environmental factors can increase a patient’s risk of developing it. These factors include:
Many people don’t have any symptoms of type 2 diabetes before they are diagnosed, which means many people remain undiagnosed and never realize they have type 2 diabetes until it becomes severe. That’s why it’s important — especially if you have any of the risk factors above — to be screened for diabetes by your primary care physician.
Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
Type 2 diabetes can feel like an overwhelming diagnosis, but it can be managed. Eating healthy and being active can help reduce risk of serious complications, or your primary care team may prescribe insulin or other medications to help manage your blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetics also need to get very familiar with 3 key numbers, and keep them in check:
Make regular appointments with your primary care provider to stay on track with your treatment plan and to get help with new ideas and strategies if needed.
We recently launched a diabetes clinical program to screen for and treat our patients with diabetes. We have a 95% enrollment rate into the program, which allows patients to receive a personalized care plan that clearly defines goals, and a partnership with their care team (which includes a consulting endocrinologist). 84% of those we have data for have their diabetes numbers in control!
Schedule a visit in the Firefly app today to discuss our unique approach to managing diabetes. Not a member yet? Get started by signing up on our website or giving us a call at (855) 869-9284.
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