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Should you be Screened for Diabetes?

A lot of workplaces now a days have “wellness” programs where you get blood work done every year. These programs are designed to pick up diseases early in their course. The hope is to diagnose early and begin treatment or lifestyle modifications in order to prevent worsening diseases down the road.

Over the past few years, medicine has been trying to do more recommendations based on research, rather than just “standard of care” or “this is what we always have done”. It is an effort to be more conscious of cost as well as doing what is best. This is generally referred to as “evidence-based medicine”.

What does that have to do with screening for diabetes? Research is showing that type 2 diabetics do not show any improved outcomes until they are treated when the a1c is 8.5 or higher. Thus, if we diagnose you early- before you have symptoms like when your a1c is 6, it does not show any improvement in long term treatment, risk of heart attacks, strokes, or kidney disease.

That said, if you are overweight, don’t exercise much and eat a lot of junk food (fast food, soda, sweets), you are at high risk of getting diabetes. Why not make some lifestyle changes? Even just losing 10 percent of your body weight can lower your risk of diabetes by 50%. Cut out a few bad foods and try eating more fiber and vegetables to fill you up on healthy food.

If you are having trouble changing your habits, or want more help, give us a call at Whole Family Medical Care! I love treating people with diet and exercise instead of medication any day!

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