Are you among the millions of people who have diabetes and don't even know it?
You are at greater risk for developing diabetes if you are overweight, smoke, have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, a family history of diabetes, if you've had gestational diabetes, are over the age of 45, are inactive, or if you are African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian American.
There are 3 main types of diabetes.
Type 2, also known as adult onset diabetes, is the most common type of diabetes. In this form, the body makes insulin, but the cells cannot use it well (insulin resistance).
With type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to make insulin because the immune system attacks the cells that produce and release insulin.
Gestational diabetes occurs in some pregnant women. Women that have this form of diabetes have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Common symptoms of diabetes:
If you are at high risk, or are experiencing any of the common symptoms, please discuss them with your provider. He or she may run some blood tests to determine if you have impaired glucose tolerance, pre-diabetes, or diabetes.
If you are already diagnosed with diabetes, France Avenue Family Physicians would like you to follow up every three months to assess your condition. At this time they may alter your medication, diet, or lifestyle to give you the best possible care.
Need meal ideas? Check out http://www.diabetic-recipes.com
Hyperlipidemia is the medical term for High Cholesterol. Cholesterol is made up of 3 main components: LDL ("bad" cholesterol), HDL ("good" cholesterol), and triglycerides. LDL is the main cholesterol carrier. It forms plaques in arteries which blocks blood flow to the heart, brain, and the rest of the body. HDL moves cholesterol from arteries to the liver for metabolism. A high level of LDL corresponds to a higher risk of coronary artery disease. Similarly, a high level of HDL corresponds to a lower risk of coronary artery disease.
You should have your cholesterol tested by your physician yearly. Your physician may recommend that you have it tested more often if you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, or if you have any of the following risk factors:
Left untreated, high cholesterol can lead to coronary heart disease. If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, you and your physician will find a treatment that's right for you. Usually treatment consists of diet changes, exercise, and sometimes medication.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is an increase in the force of your blood pushing against the blood vessel walls. The force makes your heart work harder to pump the blood throughout your body, which can result in stroke, heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure, vision problems, aneurysm, and other problems.
High blood pressure is especially dangerous because most people are unaware that they have it. There are no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, which is why it is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly at your physician's office, especially if you have one or more of the following risk factors:
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. One high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. If you have a high reading, measure your blood pressure at different times while resting to find a typical reading for you. See your doctor if you consistently have high readings.
Treatment for hypertension will most likely consist of a combination of diet (less salt), weight loss, exercise (a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 times a week, has been shown to make a difference), and possibly medication. Once you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, your physician will want to see you every three months to check your status.
It can start with a chronic cough, wheezing, tightness in the chest or shortness of breath. It can be triggered by allergies, respiratory infections, exercise, or chemical sensitivities.
Asthma, a chronic inflammatory lung condition, is different for everyone. That's why a customized "asthma management plan" written by your doctor can be helpful.
The Asthma Management Plan used by FAFP features a green-yellow-red system to remind you when to take different medicine, contact the doctor or call 911.
If your child has asthma, the school nurse should have a copy of the action plan.
Each of our providers tries to give an action plan to every asthma patient. The goal is to help you know what to do next should your symptoms escalate. Most people who pay attention to symptoms and triggers, take their medicine and treat asthma seriously can manage well. However, untreated asthma can reduce lung function and in rare cases, could be lethal.
Allergy shots are often used as a treatment tool. Three to five years of shots is often enough to build up a permanent tolerance to allergens.
When you need more help with asthma
People who think they might have asthma can start by seeing a primary care doctor. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist if needed. Patients who are already being treated should see the doctor if they: