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Screening for type 2 diabetes: By Zainab Al-Obosi, MD
March 3, 2015

Diabetes is one of the major causes of early illnesses and deaths in the United States.  Studies show that 8 to 9 percent of Americans are affected by diabetes and almost a third of this percentage remains undiagnosed.  A recent health assessment of Madison County showed that diabetes was the third most diagnosed disease among those that completed the survey.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that disrupts the way your body uses glucose (sugar).  Each cell in your body needs sugar to work normally. Sugar gets into the cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. If there is not enough insulin, or if the body stops responding to insulin, sugar builds up in the blood. This is what happens to people with type 2 diabetes.

 

People are screened for diabetes for many reasons.  These include:

 

·         The disease is an important public health problem

·         A person may have no symptom in the early stages

·         There is a suitable screening test

·         We have many options for treatment

·         Early treatment during the asymptomatic stage improves the general health down the road

·         If a relatively long asymptomatic period exists, damage is ongoing to major body systems

·         Well-established treatments for type 2 diabetes and prevention of its complications exist

·         Early diagnosis of diabetes allows providers to help prevent heart and kidney problems

 

While not everyone is screened for diabetes, you may be screened if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

 

·         45 years of age or older

·         Overweight (body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more). The risk with increased weight is a continuum, with significantly increased risk for obese individuals (those with a BMI of 30 or more).

·         Diabetes mellitus in a first-degree relative (parents, offspring or siblings)

·         Inactive lifestyle

·         High-risk ethnic or racial group (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders)

·         A history of delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or with gestational diabetes mellitus

·         Hypertension (blood pressure 140/90 mmHg or higher)

·         High cholesterol

·         Hemoglobin A1C levels 5.7 percent or more, impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose

·         Polycystic ovary syndrome

·         History of vascular disease

 

There is also a stage called prediabetes.  Prediabetes means that the blood sugar level is not high enough to be in diabetic range, but not low enough to be in normal range.  At this point we can prevent type 2 diabetes with increased activity, weight loss and exercise.

 

Our goal at Madison Health Primary Care is to provide the best care for our patients. An important role of preventive services is screening for diabetes.  If your healthcare provider orders a diabetic screening, it may just be the test that saves your life.   

 

Dr. Zainab Al-Obosi is a family physician at Madison Health Primary Care of London.  To make an appointment, please call 740-845-7500. The practice is currently accepting new patients, including adults and children.

 

References

·         American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes--2010. Diabetes Care 2010; 33 Suppl 1:S11.

·         Cowie CC, Rust KF, Ford ES, et al. Full accounting of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the U.S. population in 1988-1994 and 2005-2006. Diabetes Care 2009; 32:287.

·         Yang W, Lu J, Weng J, et al. Prevalence of diabetes among men and women in China. N Engl J Med 2010; 362:1090.

·         http://www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org/composite-35.htm (Accessed on June 19, 2012). Mokdad AH, Ford ES, Bowman BA, et al. Prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and obesity-related health risk factors, 2001. JAMA 2003; 289:76.

·         Katon WJ, Rutter C, Simon G, et al. The association of comorbid depression with mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2005; 28:2668.

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