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Dr. David Kim Kim Bariatric Institute

Diabetes – The Importance of Diagnosis and Treatment for a “Silent Killer”

DiabetesOne of the most serious conditions linked to obesity is diabetes – a chronic disease that affects the body’s ability to regulate sugar levels in the blood. Diabetes can start slowly, and progress into stages so severe that patients may suffer a range of debilitating conditions – and even fatal complications. Here at Kim Bariatric Institute, we see many patients who have type 2 diabetes as the result of morbid obesity. We have also seen many patients become cured of the condition after treatment with surgical procedures such as gastric sleevegastric bypass, or other weight loss surgery options.

A recent article from Laura Tedesco in Yahoo! Health cites a new study that found 30 percent of Americans who have diabetes don’t even know they have it, which makes early diagnosis and treatment of this “Silent Killer” crucial to slow its progression or stop it entirely. While the study, conducted by scientists at Emory University and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, didn’t distinguish between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, the researchers stated that a large majority of diabetes cases are type 2, and making a distinction between them would not have significantly changed the findings or the recommendations.

Millions of people in the U.S. have diabetes, and the article reports that many of these people are undiagnosed – even those who regularly visit the doctor. One of the study’s co-authors said that undiagnosed diabetes can lead to terrible consequences since the disease is so progressive, consequences that can include kidney disease, vascular disease, eye disease, blindness, and complications that are often fatal. However, the doctor says early diagnosis and treatment for diabetes can preserve quality of life and help patients delay its progression.

In addition to a family history of the disease, lifestyle and weight can factor heavily into your risk for developing (or already having) diabetes. For many people, the symptoms of diabetes are not overt until serious complications have occurred, so regular monitoring by your doctor is crucial, particularly for those at high risk. Remember, diabetes can affect blood pressure and blood vessels, which can ultimately lead to heart disease and stroke. It is vital to get tested for diabetes regularly (it’s a very quick and simple blood test) and start getting the condition under control as soon as possible. With close attention to their treatment plans and some lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to lead long, active, normal lives.

While not all individuals who have diabetes suffer from obesity, the disease is one of the most common co-morbidity conditions (medical conditions linked to obesity) for people who are considered obese or morbidly obese. For these individuals, surgical weight loss treatment may be an ideal option to help them lose weight, make necessary lifestyle changes, and get diabetes under control – or even eliminate it from their bodies altogether.

Dr. David D. KimDr. Bridget Holden, and our experienced bariatric surgery team here at Kim Bariatric Institute can meet with you for an initial consultation to talk with you about your goals and your options. If you have questions about obesity, diabetes, or weight loss surgery treatment, we encourage you to contact us today. A member of our team will be happy to address your concerns, or assist you in scheduling a consultation with one of our bariatric surgeons.

To read the full Yahoo! Health article, please click here.

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