There is no doubt that type II diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes, is on the rise. With the number of fast food restaurants, super-size meal options, busy work schedules and sedentary lifestyles, the disease has become a worldwide epidemic. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported there were 23.6 million Americans with diabetes. Ninety to ninety-five percent have type II diabetes. Roughly 17.9 million type II diabetics were diagnosed while an estimated 5.7 million Americans remain undiagnosed.
Glucose can be checked by the patient daily by using a lancet and glucometer. The pad of the finger is stuck with a lancet to obtain a small blood sample. The sample is then placed on a test strip which is connected to a glucometer. Results are available within seconds. Normal glucose levels range between 65-99 mg/dl. A person may be diagnosed with diabetes by an elevated fasting glucose level or an elevated hemoglobin A1C level. The hemoglobin A1C is a measurement of a person’s glucose over the past 3 months. A hemoglobin A1C measurement of less than 6.0% is considered non-diabetic. A well-controlled diabetic patient will have a hemoglobin A1C level less than 7.0%. Current guidelines for the initial management of patients with type II diabetes place an emphasis on weight loss, diet and exercise depending on the severity of their diabetes. Patients who fail initial treatments such as weight loss, diet and exercise, or whose diabetes is severe will be placed on an oral hypoglycemic such as Metformin or Glipizide or both. Patients may also be placed on insulin along with oral hypoglycemic medications.
A patient diagnosed with diabetes will always be considered diabetic regardless of how well-controlled it is, however, with proper diet, exercise and weight loss, patients may be able to discontinue their anti-diabetic medications. An ideal diabetic diet includes 1800 calories or less per day with restrictions on carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrate intake should include no more than 60 grams per meal (3 meals) and one snack in between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner which should be 15 grams or less.
Contact your physician to be screened for diabetes if you have a family history of diabetes, or experience excessive thirst or urination. You can find a doctor here.
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