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Could I Have Diabetes and Not Even Know It?


The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 people with diabetes don’t know they have it. And 80% of the estimated 96 million people with prediabetes, meaning they’re on course to develop diabetes, don’t know it.

Family medicine doctor Poonam Malhotra, MD, at Central Clinic in Spring Hill, Florida, is a female physician specializing in preventing and managing chronic conditions like diabetes

Read what Dr. Malhotra and her team want you to know about the health complications associated with diabetes and factors that indicate you’re at risk.

Understanding diabetes

There are several forms of diabetes, including:

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 affects 5%-10% of people diagnosed with diabetes, making it the second most common type. It occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough of the hormone (insulin) your body needs to absorb and use energy (glucose) from the foods you eat.

Type 1 diabetes tends to come on suddenly and may be related to an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack and destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

There’s no way to prevent or cure this type of diabetes, but it tends to respond well to treatment with insulin injections, healthy nutrition, and blood glucose (sugar) management.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90%-95% of adult cases of diabetes. Although much more prevalent than other forms, Type 2 diabetes is preventable and, in the case of prediabetes, reversible with appropriate management.

Effective treatments for Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes include a healthy diet, weight loss, and increased physical activity. Depending on your blood sugar levels, you may also benefit from oral medications.

An essential component of managing diabetes is supportive primary care that includes routine office visits and periodic lab studies to gauge the effectiveness of your current treatment plan.

Dr. Malhotra develops customized diabetes treatment plans based on your current health status and medical history. She may, for instance, recommend additional lab work and referral to a specialist for health complications related to diabetes.

What are the health complications of diabetes?

Health complications associated with undiagnosed or poorly managed diabetes include:

These conditions typically develop over time and may be preventable with early diagnosis and treatment.

What are the early symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes symptoms are often vague initially and may include:

Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are easily overlooked or blamed on other factors, such as fatigue related to a hectic schedule.

Thus, Dr. Malhotra may focus on your risk factors for diabetes as well as your symptoms when considering further testing. Type 2 diabetes risk factors include family history, a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, and a high-fat and high-sugar diet.

Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age but is more common over 40. However, prediabetes can occur in your 20s or 30s. Discovering prediabetes sooner rather than later allows you to reverse course by creating healthy habits that prevent full-blown diabetes.

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Malhotra at Central Clinic today for all your health care needs, including diabetes prevention and management. Call the office or request an appointment online.

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