For the most part if you are under 40, you don’t have to worry too much about screening for diabetes. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 diabetes is more commonly seen in childhood and is an inability for the pancreas to produce insulin. Type 2 is more frequently seen in later age, but also for younger people (even young children) who have metabolic issues. While an incredibly common condition, many of us don’t even know where to start in terms of when we should screen for this condition, or if we possess risk factors.
What are risk factors for diabetes:
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Family history of diabetes
High blood pressure
High triglyceride/cholesterol levels
If you are under 40 and have any of the above risk factors, it is worth discussing with your doctor or NP if you are at increased risk of diabetes and when you should start being screened. The great news? Getting screened is super easy and is as simple as a blood test (see: fasting glucose, random glucose, and hemoglobin a1c). If your doctor/NP is looking for additional information about your health, they may ask you to do something called an oral glucose challenge test which monitors your body’s ability to process high amounts of sugar.
Symptoms of diabetes include frequent infections (think: persistent vaginal yeast infections/UTIs), and symptoms of high blood sugar which includes increased thirst, increased urination, or increased hunger.
Knowledge IS power, so gaining more information about your health, especially pertaining to your metabolic health helps set you up for the healthiest future you can have. The best person to ask about your individual health is your general practitioner or primary care provider!
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