Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and yet it is often diagnosed quite late in the disease process. According to Timothy Lyons, MD, who is presently Director of Research of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in Oklahoma City, "Patients with type 2 diabetes tend to run into problems that are often attributed to other things. Diabetes may have no symptoms for years or decades, yet silently damages blood vessels throughout the body."
Primary care physicians often miss a diagnosis of diabetes because they are focusing on the issues it can cause (ie., neuropathy, heart attack, vision problems, etc.) and are missing the fact that it’s actually diabetes that is causing the problem.
There is a simple way to solve this problem: routine screening for diabetes. A simple blood test can determine if someone is having issues with blood glucose control. “Dr. Lyons recommends that screening for diabetes should be undertaken in anyone 45 years of age or older, and in younger people who are at high risk: including those who are overweight, or have a family history of diabetes, or who are not Caucasians.”
Once there is a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, there is still a long road ahead for the patient and doctor. Both must be diligent in maintaining good blood glucose control while watching for possible complications.
The bottom line is: “prevention, early detection, and good long-term management are key to defeating the diabetes epidemic.”