Issue of October 7, 2018
     
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What puts you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus?

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most common type of diabetes among adults.

These factors put you at risk of developing the disease:

Heredity. First-degree relatives – siblings and children of a diabetic person have five to 10 times higher risk of developing the disease compared with persons with no history of diabetes in the family. You do not inherit diabetes from your parents; you only inherit the predisposition to develop it.

Race. The likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes is greater among Asians and among people of Hispanic and African descent.

Environmental influence and lifestyle. Your diet and your activity combined with heredity/genetic predisposition affect your risk of developing diabetes.

Pregnancy. About three to five percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. This is similar to type 2 diabetes and usually resolves after giving birth but puts the mother at risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Most patients do not feel anything at the outset and blood sugar elevation is noted on routine laboratory tests (incidental finding).

You will need further work-up if your doctor tells you that you have any of the following which are considered risk factors for diabetes: impaired fasting glucose (IFG); impaired glucose tolerance (IGT); and glycated hemoglobin (A1C) level of 5.7 to 6.4 percent.

Type 2 diabetes requires regular monitoring and treatment throughout life. Lifestyle changes and medications can keep blood sugar levels close to normal and decrease the risk of developing complications. Despite the risks associated with diabetes and its complications, you can still lead an active life and enjoy the food and activities that you like.

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Gestational diabetes

It is recommended that all pregnant women be tested for gestational diabetes. This is usually done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Testing may be done earlier if the woman has risk factors for gestational diabetes, such as a history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, obesity, excess sugar in the urine (glucosuria), and a strong family history of diabetes.

Complications of gestational diabetes are the following:

Having a large baby – weighing more than 9 lbs. or 4.1 kg. This increases the chance of needing a cesarean section. A vaginal delivery increases the risk of injuring the large baby (example: broken bones, nerve injury) or the mother;

Stillbirth;

Low blood sugar in the baby;

Preeclampsia or elevated blood pressure during pregnancy.

Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent these complications; hence close follow-up with an obstetrician-gynecologist and family/diabetes doctor is necessary. Dietary and other treatment modalities will then be started and monitored.

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Medical questions and concerns may be emailed to baguiomidlandcourier@yahoo.com or yourmedicalcorner@yahoo.com.

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