• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: Get the facts on Type 2 diabetes

November 9, 2018

Mayo Clinic experts want you to know that Type 2 diabetes is a growing health concern.

November is National Diabetes Month, and more than 23 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes increases your risk of conditions such as blindness, amputations, heart failure and kidney failure. Mayo Clinic experts say proper management can help diabetics stay healthy.

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Vivien Williams talks to Dr. Adrian Vella, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and diabetes researcher, about the facts on Type 2 diabetes.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Type 2 diabetes is on the rise.

"The increased incidence of obesity is what has probably driven part of the increase in diabetes," says Dr. Vella.

Diabetes happens when your blood sugar is too high. It's a leading cause of blindness and amputations, and it increases your risk of heart disease and kidney failure.

"Dealing with high blood sugars early gives you a better chance of spending a longer time not requiring medications or other interventions to control your diabetes," says Dr. Vella.

Lifestyle choices, such as eating right, exercising and losing weight, can help prevent and even manage the chronic condition. But unhealthy choices can be dangerous, especially if you have a predisposition for the disease.

"One of my more famous colleagues actually said that heredity loads the gun, while environment pulls the trigger," says Dr. Vella.

The good news is treatment with lifestyle changes, medication or insulin can help manage diabetes and prevent complications.

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