How to tell if you are at risk for Diabetes?

Diabetes is a bigger threat than you might imagine. At least one in seven adult Californians has diabetes—and those numbers are going up by the day. Almost 11.4 million people—which is 41 percent of adults—in California have prediabetes.

According to a study published online in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), nearly 50 percent of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes. In fact, 45 percent of adults in Stanislaus County are prediabetic.

One in three adults have prediabetes, however, one in four adults do not realize that they do. Considering that 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years, it’s important to stay on top of it.

“I grew up watching the debilitating effects of Diabetes on my parents for the past 40-plus years,” said Gopika Gangupantula, MD, CDE, “how it slowly gnaws away the physical abilities and can get overwhelming not only for the patients but also their families and their healthcare providers.”

Dr. Gangupantula offered some helpful advice on how to tell if you’re prediabetic and how to undo the damage. She started with tell-tale signs, like a growing waistline, a darkening of skin around the neck or underarms, and increased yeast infections. The best way to make sure is to take a blood test to measure A1C, and a two-hour glucose tolerance test.

What do you do if you take the tests and find out you are prediabetic? Take care of yourself. Eat right, lose weight, and make sure that you’re physically active for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Losing even five to 10 percent of body weight can help lower the risk of diabetes.

And it shouldn’t just be your journey. Your family should get involved in the care, as well. The family also needs to understand the diet and lifestyle changes that you need to make and help you along, as it can get overwhelming to do it all by yourself.

“I don’t call it a ‘diet,’” said Dr. Gangupantula. “I call it meal planning or making the right meal choices. I encourage all my patients to have a friend or family member who will support them to make the the right meal choices, participate with them in their daily physical activity and cheer them on.”

The diagnosis and treatment of diabetes isn’t always easy on your own, however—which is why visiting specialists like Dr. Gangupantula is important. She is a passionate practitioner who stands as the only Fellowship-trained, Certified Diabetologist in the Central Valley. Dr. Gangupantula sees patients from Modesto, Riverbank, Patterson and Merced. Both healthcare providers and patients regularly seek her out for her expert care and advice.

“My philosophy is that patient education is key in improving diabetes control,” said Dr. Gangupantula. “If the patient doesn’t understand what’s going on in their body, they are not going to change their lifestyle. I provide extensive educational materials through videos, brochures, handouts and tools.” 

IF YOU NEED HELP MANAGING YOUR TYPE 1 OR TYPE 2 DIABETES, CONTACT DR. GANGUPANTULA’S PRACTICE, VALLEY DIABETES & OBESITY AT WWW.DRGDIABETES.COM

From the interview published in Contentment Health & Lifestyle Magazine.

Author
Dr Gopika Gangupantula Dr. Gopika Gangupantula, MD, FAAFP is a Board-Certified Family Physician, Diabetes Obesity Specialist, and Fellow, American Academy of Family Physicians. She has also received Fellowship training in diabetes to provide the utmost support for each patient. If you need help managing your Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes or Gestational Diabetes, please contact our clinic at http:/www.DrGDiabetes.com or call us at (209) 497-4677. We are open Monday-Friday, 9AM – 6PM.

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