Dignity Health | hello Healthy | Fall 2018

HelloHealthy | Fall 2018 5 1. What is type 2 diabetes? All the cells in your body need sugar (glucose) to work normally. Sugar gets into cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. In type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar levels rise higher than normal. 2. What are the risk factors and symptoms of type 2 diabetes? Risk factors include overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, family history, race and ethnicity, high blood pressure, genetics, and smoking. Symptoms may include intense thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, and sometimes weight loss. 3. What happens if I don’t control my blood sugar? High blood sugar, if not treated, can cause serious problems over time. It can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, vision problems (including blindness), pain or loss of feeling in hands and feet, and sometimes the need to have fingers, toes, or other body parts removed (amputated). 4. How is diabetes diagnosed? There are several blood tests used to measure glucose levels. The most commonly used tests are: A1C. This measures the average blood glucose over the past two to three months. An A1C of 6.5 percent or higher is diabetes. Fasting plasma glucose. A result of 126 mg/dL or higher is diabetes. Random blood glucose. A result of 200 mg/dL with symptoms is considered diabetes. 5. How do I manage diabetes? Studies have shown that people who are at risk can prevent type 2 diabetes by losing weight, being active, and improving the way they eat. Medications may be needed to control the ABCs: A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Harshit Shah, MD, is a board-certified endocrinologist with Dignity Health Medical Group – Bakersfield. He completed his residency at Loma Linda University, California, and his fellowship at the University of Florida. Dr. Shah has been recognized as a 2017–America’s Top Physicians and a 2018–Top Endocrinologist in California. “It’s important to get to know my patients and their lifestyle to create a treatment plan that will work for them,” he says. When he’s not seeing patients, he loves spending time with his wife (a physical therapist) and his daughter, and he enjoys reading. He was a big fan of the TV series House, M.D. Nowadays he’s into Game of Thrones . A Q & about type 2 diabetes Work with your health care team. To learn about our diabetes classes, go to dignityhealth.org/ bakersfield/diabetes . Or call 661.846.2038, ext. 4326 . TO LEARN MORE about Dr. Shah or to make an appointment, visit dignityhealth.org/ ourdoctors/ 1043453079-Harshit- Shah . Or call 661.327.1431 . Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. About 30 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes. Of those, nearly 95 percent have type 2 diabetes. Another 86 million have prediabetes, a condition that comes before diabetes. “It’s important to know about diabetes,” says Harshit Shah, MD, an endocrinologist with Dignity Health Medical Group – Bakersfield. “Don’t let the ‘pre’ in prediabetes fool you. ‘Pre’ is for prevention.” Here, Dr. Shah answers five common questions about type 2 diabetes. Get to know Dr. Shah