Health Check: Preventing & Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

More than 25 million children and adults are living with Diabetes - most of them have Type 2. In this month's Health Check report - Serese Cole heads to the Fremont Area Medical Center where doctors say in most cases - the illness can be prevented.

This is how we should spend at least 30 minutes of our day - but as Gary Fouraker discovered - life often gets in the way.

"I used to workout over the lunch hour and things like that and I didn't do that anymore. I stayed in the office and worked." explained Fouraker.

He believes that along with stress is why he now has to monitor his blood sugar.

Gary was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in his 40's. He's keeping his condition in check with medication and insulin.

Dr. J. Michael Adams says a Diabetes diagnosis - doesn't have to be detrimental.

Dr. Adams.. "Our initial treatment is lifestyle change. We try to get people to eat less and exercise more - lose weight and sometimes that's amazingly effective."

Serese Cole, "But he says this is often the hardest thing to do. Dr. Adams says for many patients - it's easier to take a pill or a daily shot than change the way they live."

Not controlling the diabetes can cause a number of complications from blindness and kidney failure to high blood pressure and foot amputation.

So how do you know if you're at risk? If you're overweight, have abdominal fat or a family history of diabetes - your chances are greater .

Gary's diabetes was discovered during a routine check-up.
Twenty years later - he's still working to make healthy decisions.

"I watch what I eat. I try to stay active," said Fouraker.

Doctors say if more of us did that - we'd reduce our chances of ever getting the disease.

Here are signs your blood sugar is too high and you should see your doctor: If you experience intense hunger or thirst, weight gain or unusual weight loss, frequent urination, itchy skin, blurred vision or numbness in your hands and feet.

To avoid those symptoms - exercise. It not only helps keep your weight in check - it lowers your blood sugar and helps your body use insulin better.

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