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What is Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

In Type 2 Diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time your pancreas isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal. Type 2 is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications (pills), and insulin.

When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems:

Right away, your cells may be starved for energy.

Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

Am I At Risk?

Many factors come into determining your level of risk, take this short assessment, answering yes or no to each question.

Are you more than 20 pounds over your ideal weight?

Do you carry most of your weight in your abdomen?

Do you have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes?

Are you 45 years or older?

Do you have a sedentary lifestyle?

If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions, you may be at risk.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Obesity

Being overweight is a primary risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin. However, you don’t have to be overweight to develop Type 2 Diabetes.

Fat Distribution

If your body stores fat primarily in your abdomen, your risk of Type 2 Diabetes is greater than if your body stores fat elsewhere, such as your hips and thighs.

Physical Activity

The less active you are, the greater your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

Family History

The risk of Type 2 Diabetes increases if your parent or sibling has Type 2 Diabetes.

Heritage

Although it’s unclear why, people of certain races — including blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans — are more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes than whites are.

Age

The risk of Type 2 Diabetes increases as you get older, especially after age 45. That’s probably because people tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass, and gain weight as they age. But Type 2 Diabetes is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents, and younger adults

Pre-Diabetes

Pre-Diabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as Diabetes. Left untreated, Pre-Diabetes often progresses to Type 2 Diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

If you developed Gestational Diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

What Can It Do To My Body?

Type 2 Diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages when you’re feeling fine. But diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys. Controlling your blood sugar levels can help prevent these complications.

Although long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually, they can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening.  Some of the potential complications of diabetes include:

Heart & Blood Vessel Disease

Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure.

Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.

Kidney Damage (Naphropathy)

The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system.

Eye Damage

Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (Diabetic Retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.

Foot Damage

Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications.  Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections, which may heal poorly.  Severe damage might require toe, foot, or leg amputation.

Hearing Impairment

Hearing problems are more common in people with Diabetes.

Skin Conditions

Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.

What Can I Do?

Now the good news! Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled by diet and exercise along with other lifestyle changes. Making these changes can be overwhelming and you will need support from your family and friends and your medical provider.

As a health coach I can help guide and support you in making these changes.

Yoga

It is well known that regular practice of yoga can help reduce levels of stress, enhance mobility, lower blood pressure and improve overall wellbeing.  This is key in Diabetes management.  I will help you incorporate a yoga practice, along with other exercise suggestions that will help improve your overall health.  I offer private yoga classes as well as classes around the community in a group setting.

Healthy Foods

What is healthy food?  Will I be able to eat foods that I love and still make the changes I need?  I work with my clients to teach them how to eat healthy and still enjoy food while teaching cooking basics like how to stock your pantry and supplying you with simple tasty recipes that make sense for your lifestyle and schedule.

Accountability

Getting a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes or other chronic health conditions can be scary.  Change is hard, and it will not be easy, nor will you love some of the changes you have to make.  My goal as your health coach is to make the transition into a healthier lifestyle a little less daunting, incorporate some fun, and help you feel better every day!

Let’s get started!

The first step is to complete one of the health history assessments. I offer a free 50 minute consultation that is focused on you and your needs. Together we can discuss how I can help you get started on a customized program.