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Type 2 Diabetes Doesn't Have to be your disease

As an internist and endocrinologist in Los Angeles, I am seeing an increased number of younger patients with Diabetes Type 2. A recent C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control) report found that more than 40% of obese youths (less than 21 years of age) had abnormally high levels of blood lipids (triglycerides or ‘blood fats’) and an increased risk for developing diabetes type 2. Both of these conditions are linked to the development of heart disease. Some risk factors for diabetes type 2 are: being overweight or obese; being physically inactive; having a family history of diabetes; having a history of high blood sugar while pregnant (gestational Diabetes); and having an ethnic background of being Hispanic, Native-African, Native-Asian, Native- American, or Pacific Islander. Most of you already know this.

The good news is that most diabetes type 2 patients’ disease can be controlled or even resolved by 2 non-medication action steps: eating and drinking fewer calories and having more physical activity -- and walking will do just fine. Exercise is like insulin to the body, it helps the muscles to take up and use your body’s blood sugar which causes a lowering of your blood sugar levels. The more you walk, the more your muscles burn calories (fats and carbohydrates), the lower your blood sugar drops and the lower weight becomes.

Many diabetes type 2 patients, if diagnosed early enough, can control their diabetes type 2 without medications. To check if you have early signs of being a diabetic see your physician and they will probably get a fasting blood sugar level (FBS) and/or a Hemoglobulin A 1-C level to help screen you for diabetes type 2. Diabetes type 2 is a condition that you can control; it need not become a disease.

Take control of your health.

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