Northwell Ventures adds $500k to fund HealthReveal’s mission to mitigate chronic condition health risks with machine learning

Healthcare technology company HealthReveal, which equips payers and providers with data analytics and remote monitoring to ensure patients receive guideline-directed medical care, has added another $500,000 to its Series A funding with an investment from Northwell Ventures. Along with the $10.8 million HealthReveal raised a few months ago (led by GE Ventures, Greycroft Partners and Flare Capital Partners), the new funding brings the company’s total funding to date at $11.3 million.

With a majority of healthcare costs associated with complications from chronic conditions – such as amputations from diabetes or end-stage renal disease –
HealthReveal’s mission is to mitigate such risks for self-insured employers, providers and payers by helping them to identify patients whose care isn’t lining up with the best practice at the exact right time. The company applies powerful machine learning algorithms built from claims data, EHR data and, for the highest-risk patients, remote monitoring. Additionally, HealthReveal’s algorithms line up with best practice guidelines derived from specialist society recommendations and medical literature that features well-regarded, robust clinical trials.

HealthReveal was founded two years ago by Dr. Lonny Reisman, who serves as CEO of the company. Reisman previously founded ActiveHealth Management, which he later sold to Aetna (where he was CMO for nearly a decade) for $400…

Eating Avocado May Help Prevent Risks Associated With Heart Disease

A new analysis of existing research shows that consuming the creamy fruit can help with metabolic syndrome, a constellation of diseases and symptoms that include heart disease and type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.

Researchers analyzed more than 100 published studies that examined how consuming avocado can affect individual aspects of metabolic syndrome. They found that avocado, along with avocado oil or even peel, may have protective effects on the heart, including lowering “bad” cholesterol, reducing hypertension and lowering risk of obesity.

An avocado-rich diet had the most positive effect on “good” HDL cholesterol levels and may lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. That’s important because high levels of bad cholesterol is one of the biggest indicators of heart disease risk, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers also noted that…

Artificial Sweeteners Are Said To Be ‘Lite,’ But They Leave A Heavy Burden On Your Health

Diet drinks are even worse for our health than regular sugary sodas.

Diet soda drinkers, beware. Recent epidemiological studies have confirmed that the sweeteners used in diet sodas and other lite drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Often asymptomatic, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and is most often found among people who are overweight and sedentary.

Just published research results out of France show that people who “always or almost always” add sweeteners to their drinks – in sachet or tablet form – had an 83 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than those who use them “never or rarely.”

Aspartame, the most commonly used sweetener, and, more recently, sucralose (aka Splenda), have been used to replace sugar in so-called “diet” sodas for over 30 years.

Even though the quantity of artificial sweeteners in our diet has increased massively in recent years as industrial manufacturers add them with growing abandon to not just drinks but also cereals, biscuits, cakes, low-calorie yogurts and even certain medicines, reliable and precise data on their health impacts are rare.

Such products are marketed as low-calorie alternatives that are therefore healthy. This perception encourages consumers to overuse sweeteners to avoid putting on weight. But, even in moderation, these additives can have negative effects on health.

Today, sweeteners are increasingly controversial, and suspected of contributing to weight gain and being carcinogenic.

This has independent researchers across the world seeking to measure their real effects on health, particularly their impact on metabolic diseases.

Our team at France’s Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at Inserm, has been contributing to this growing body of health knowledge since 2012 through a research program on the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

The program’s findings suggest that sugar substitutes should be treated with the utmost caution. In February, we published a study showing that the risk of diabetes increases with the consumption of artificial sweeteners. We had already shown that this risk was higher with so-called “diet” drinks than with regular sodas.

Our research is based on data from a cohort of nearly 100,000 French women in the Epidemiological Study of Women in National Education or E3N, one of the world’s few cohorts of this size.

This prospective cohort study has been monitoring the health of women who belong to the mutual health insurance company for French national education…

Fresh Fruit Protects Against Diabetes, Complications

Eating fresh fruit every day was linked with a lower risk for diabetes and diabetes-related vascular complications in a Chinese epidemiological study that included half a million people.

Among individuals without diabetes at baseline, daily fruit consumption was associated with a 12% lower risk for getting diabetes compared to never or rarely eating fresh fruit (hazard ratio 0.88; 95% CI 0.83-0.93; P<0.001); this corresponded to a difference of 0.2 percentage points in 5-year absolute risk, said a research team led by Huaidong Du, MD, PhD, of Oxford University in England.

The study found a dose-response relationship between fresh fruit and diabetes risk, with each daily portion of fruit consumed linked to a 12% reduction in risk (HR 0.88; 95% CI 0.81-0.95; P=0.01 for trend). This association was not significantly modified by sex, age, region, survey season, or a range of other factors including smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body-mass index, and family history of diabetes, Du and colleagues reported online in PLOS Medicine.

Among individuals with diabetes at baseline, eating 100 grams per day of fresh fruit was associated with lower risks of all-cause mortality (HR 0.83; 95% CI 0.74-0.93), microvascular complications (HR 0.72; 95% CI 0.61-0.87), and macrovascular complications (HR 0.87; 95% CI 0.82-0.93) (P<0.001 for trend), the study found.

“To our knowledge, this is the first large prospective study demonstrating similar inverse associations of fruit consumption with both incident diabetes and diabetic complications. These findings suggest that a higher intake of fresh fruit is potentially beneficial for primary and secondary prevention of diabetes,” Du and colleagues wrote.

Previous studies of fruit intake and diabetes risk “were conducted primarily among Western populations and tended to combine fresh fruit with processed fruit (sometimes including also fruit juice), in contrast to focusing only on fresh fruit, as in our study. This may…

Benefits of statin therapy outweigh diabetes risk

In a commentary published in The American Journal of Medicine, experts wrote that the CV benefits of statins outweigh any diabetes-related risk they may present.

Charles H. Hennekens, MD, from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, and colleagues wrote that several studies show that the risk for diabetes from statin therapy is outweighed by the benefits in both treatment and prevention of MI and stroke.

“The totality of evidence clearly indicates that the more widespread and appropriate utilization of statins, as adjuncts, not alternatives to therapeutic lifestyle changes, will yield net benefits in the treatment and primary prevention of [MIs] and strokes, including among high-, medium- and low-risk patients unwilling or unable to adopt therapeutic lifestyle changes,” Hennekens said in a…

Smart watches could help predict type 2 diabetes risk

Wearing a smart watch could help detect if people are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

Stanford University researchers suggest the digital devices might also be able to indicate when people are developing the common cold, as well as more complex conditions.

Many people already use wearable technology to monitor step count, but in this study researchers from Stanford University used the devices to measure skin temperature and heart rate.

They were able to predict whether wearers of the small wrist device were at risk of type 2 diabetes because the technology indicated insulin resistance.

Senior author Professor Michael Snyder, who is Chair of Genetics at Stanford, said: “We want to tell when people are healthy and also catch illnesses at their earliest stages.”

Heart rates and temperature of the skin tends to rise when people become ill, so the researchers used that information to form their findings. A software program, specifically written for the research, collected the data.

Study author Professor Snyder, who also participated in the study, discovered from wearing the watch that he was about to come down with Lyme disease.

He said: “I had elevated heart rate and decreased oxygen at the start of my vacation and knew something was not quite right.”

For several days he had a temperature and a doctor confirmed he was unwell. He received treatment and the symptoms went away.

The findings indicate that it is possible for smart technology to predict the early signs of illness in the future.

Snyder added: “The information collected could aid your physician, although we can expect some initial challenges in how to integrate the data into clinical practice. For example, patients may want to protect the privacy of their physiologic data or may want to share only some of it.

“Physicians and third-party payers will demand robust research to help guide how this comprehensive longitudinal personal data should be used in clinical care. However, in the long-term I am very optimistic that personal biosensors will help us maintain healthier lives.”

The study was published in the journal PLOS.

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Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common long-term health conditions
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common long-term health conditions

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body:

  • Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or
  • Being unable to produce enough insulin

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body.

From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison.

This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar.

The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, likely you will never need long-term medication.

Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide.

How serious is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However, the development of type 2 diabetes and its side effects (complications) can be prevented if detected and treated at an early stage.

In recent years, it has become apparent that many people with type 2 diabetes are able to reverse diabetes through methods including low-carb diets, very-low-calorie diets and exercise.

For guidance on healthy eating to improve blood glucose levels and weight and to fight back against insulin resistance, join the Low Carb Program.

Following pre-diabetes or metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes can potentially be avoided through diet and exercise.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the hormone insulin is not used effectively by the cells in your body. Insulin is needed for cells to take in glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and convert it into energy.

Ineffective use of insulin results in the body becoming resistant to insulin – also known as insulin resistance, which in turn causes blood sugar levels to rise (hyperglycemia).

In advanced stages, type 2 diabetes may cause damage to insulin producing cells in the pancreas, leading to insufficient insulin production for your body’s needs.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors

A number of factors can increase…

Healthy Living: Are you at risk for pre-diabetes?

There are roughly 30 million diabetics in the United States, and an estimated eight million of those people are undiagnosed.

Perhaps more unsettling is the estimate that 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes, a vast number of whom neither know nor understand the health risks they face.

I share these sobering statistics because your doctor can screen for pre-diabetes, and knowing your numbers could change or even save your life.

Diabetes is a progressive blood-sugar disease, and yet, for pre-diabetics, lifestyle changes can often control or improve numbers, helping to prevent the onset of full-blown disease.

The benefits of doing this should not be underestimated: Type 2 diabetes has many complications, including increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and neuropathy.

Simply put, diabetes is a condition of dangerously high blood sugar, or glucose, in your cells.

This occurs when the organ known as the pancreas, which produces insulin to help the body process glucose for energy, cannot produce enough insulin. The body’s cells, in turn, cannot properly process…

Sleep apnea during pregnancy raises gestational diabetes risk, researchers say

Pregnant women with sleep apnea are more likely to develop gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, according to a new study.

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that interrupts breathing, is often associated with obesity, and previous studies have found people with the condition are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

This new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Magee-Women’s Hospital, found that women with sleep apnea were 3.5 times more likely to develop gestational diabetes and nearly twice as likely to develop pre-eclampsia, a blood pressure complication that occurs during pregnancy.

But the researchers stressed these findings were observational and don’t prove that sleep apnea causes gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. Rather, it is likely that sleep apnea shares a number of key risk factors for gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.

“Although we found an association with sleep disordered breathing preceding the development of both pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders and gestational diabetes, we cannot conclude that universal screening for, and treatment of sleep disordered breathing in pregnancy would reduce the risks of these adverse outcomes,” said lead study author Dr. Francesca Facco.

More than 3,000 pregnant women were involved in this research, who participated in sleep tests early in pregnancy and later in pregnancy.

Between six and 15 weeks gestation, 3.6 per cent had sleep apnea; between 22 and 31 weeks, 8.3 per cent had sleep apnea. Having sleep apnea both early and later pregnancy increased the likelihood of developing pregnancy complications.

But the researchers remain unsure if treating sleep apnea during pregnancy will improve clinical outcomes. The most common sleep apnea treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), but some people find the machines hard to tolerate. Further studies will seek to explore this possibility.

Facco and colleagues also stressed that because obesity is associated with sleep apnea, women are advised to enter pregnancy at a normal weight and gain appropriate weight thereafter.

The findings appear online in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body:

  • Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or
  • Being unable to produce enough insulin

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body.

From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar.

The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar it’s likely you will never need long-term medication.

Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide.

Type 2 diabetes statistics

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), more than 371 million people across the globe have diabetes and this figure is predicted to rise to over 550 million by 2030.

Of the total global diabetes rate, 90% are living with type 2 diabetes but it is estimated that up to half of these people are unaware of their condition (undiagnosed diabetes).

In the UK, more than 2.7 million people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes whilst a further 750,000 people are believed to have the symptoms but are yet to be diagnosed with the disease.

How serious is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However the development of type 2 diabetes and its side effects (complications) can be prevented if detected and treated at an early stage.

Following pre-diabetes or metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes can potentially be avoided through diet and exercise.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2…

Can magnesium protect against heart disease and diabetes?

The results suggested a 10% lower risk of heart disease, 12% lower risk of stroke and a 26% lower risk of T2DM for those taking the highest magnesium doses compared to those taking the lowest. ©iStock/vchal
The results suggested a 10% lower risk of heart disease, 12% lower risk of stroke and a 26% lower risk of T2DM for those taking the highest magnesium doses compared to those taking the lowest. ©iStock/vchal

A magnesium-rich diet could help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), heart disease and stroke, according to results from a meta-analysis.

The results suggested a 10% lower risk of heart disease, 12% lower risk of stroke and a 26% lower risk of T2DM for those taking the highest magnesium doses compared to those taking the lowest.

They also found an extra 100 milligrams (mg) of magnesium per day could reduce stroke risk by 7% and T2DM by 19%. These conclusions were based on data from over one million people across nine countries.

Magnesium plays an essential role in glucose metabolism, protein production and DNA synthesis. It can be found in nuts, beans, cocoa, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.

In July last year the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set…

Heart risks from high saturated fat intake have been exaggerated, study finds

Researchers in Norway have found that elevated levels of saturated fat, as part of a very high-fat, low-carbohydrate (73% fat, 10% carb) diet (VHFLC), increase the health promoting form of cholesterol, HDL, without raising the harmful kind, LDL.

The topic of saturated fat continues to be contentious with this new randomised controlled trial, adding to a growing body of evidence that the diet-heart hypothesis from original research headed up by Ancel Keys is flawed.

The diet-heart hypothesis proposed that dietary saturated fat elevated blood cholesterol, and the latter drove heart disease mortality like nothing else.

The Norwegian study (FATFUNC), which compared the effects of VHFLC and a low fat, high carbohydrate diet on cholesterol after three months, found that both regimens reduced triglycerides, but only in the group with higher dietary saturated fat did HDL increase.

Jardiance approved by FDA to reduce risk of CV death in adults with type 2 diabetes

The type 2 diabetes drug Jardiance (empagliflozin) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the risk of cardiovascular (CV) death.

Jardiance is an SGLT2 inhibitor which works by helping the kidneys excrete glucose from the bloodstream through urine.

The drug is prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes in the UK either as monotherapy when metformin is not suitable or alongside other glucose-lowering medications such as insulin when blood glucose levels are poorly controlled. It is not indicated for type 1 diabetes.

The FDA first approved Jardiance to improve blood glucose levels among people with type 2 diabetes in 2014, but the agency required further evidence before approving it as a CV treatment.

This new approval is based on a postmarketing trial of 7,000 patients, all of whom had type 2 diabetes and CV disease, where Jardiance was shown to reduce the risk of CV death compared to a placebo when added as an adjunct to diet and exercise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that death from CV disease is roughly 70 per cent higher in adults with diabetes. This is a significant factor in why people with diabetes have a decreased life expectancy.

“Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” said Dr Jean-Marc Guettier, director of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“Availability of antidiabetes therapies that can help people live longer by reducing the risk of cardiovascular death is an important advance for adults with type 2 diabetes.”

Jardiance was approved by the European Commission (EC) in May 2014.

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Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body:

  • Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or
  • Being unable to produce enough insulin

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body.

From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar.

The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar it’s likely you will never need long-term medication.

Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide.

Type 2 diabetes statistics

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), more than 371 million people across the globe have diabetes and this figure is predicted to rise to over 550 million by 2030.

Of the total global diabetes rate, 90% are living with type 2 diabetes but it is estimated that up to half of these people are unaware of their condition (undiagnosed diabetes).

In the UK, more than 2.7 million people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes whilst a further 750,000 people are believed to have the symptoms but are yet to be diagnosed with the disease.

How serious is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However the development of type 2 diabetes and its side effects (complications) can be prevented if detected and treated at an early stage.

Following pre-diabetes or metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes can potentially be avoided through diet and exercise.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the hormone insulin is not used effectively by the cells in your body. Insulin is needed for cells to take in glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream…

Vegetarians have lower risks of type 2 diabetes says US leading group of nutritionists

Vegetarian diets, including vegan and lacto-ovo vegetarian regimens, substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new paper by the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests.

The organisation, which represents over 100,000 registered dieticians, has reviewed a number of meta-analyses on the health benefits of plant-based eating for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.

It has found that meat eaters had more than twice the prevalence of diabetes compared with lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans, although the data behind these findings only corrected for body mass index (BMI) as a cofactor.

The Academy’s paper also elaborates on the odds of developing diabetes with vegetarian and vegan diets. Those risks were reduced by 77 per cent for vegans and by 54 per cent for lacto-ovo-vegetarians.

Once BMI and other confounding factors are accounted for, vegans and lacto-ovo-vegetarians are still respectively 62 per cent and 38 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

The authors argue that vegetarian diets are protective due to the high intake of fibre and phytochemicals derived from vegetables, fruits, legumes, as well as nuts and seeds.

The authors also point out that certain vegetarian foods, such as legumes, are low-glycemic – which helps reduce blood sugar levels.

Other claims as to why these diets promote better health than alternatives in the paper are based on a small quantity of studies and tend to support recommendations in US dietary guidelines that are based on inconclusive evidence.

These claims include mentions of red and processed meats being strongly associated with increased diabetes risks, which has yet to be established through rigorous analysis of the scientific literature on this subject.

In addition to that, there is omission of crucial evidence when it comes to carbohydrate intolerance and the effects of saturated fat, which suggests reluctance by the Academy to consider any evidence that contradicts official nutritional advice.

For example, the paper puts forward that whole-grain intake has been consistently associated with a lower risk of diabetes, yet the most recent research on conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets does not support this at all.

These past arguments about saturated fat and carbohydrates have been largely debunked since the Academy’s last position statement paper in 2009 and should have been more explicitly reflected in this one.

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Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is commonly known as Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body:

  • Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or
  • Being unable to produce enough insulin

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body.

From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar.

The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar it’s likely you will never need long-term medication.

Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide.

Type 2 diabetes statistics

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), more than 371 million people across the globe have diabetes and this figure is predicted to rise to over 550 million by 2030.

Of the total global diabetes rate, 90% are living with type 2 diabetes but it is estimated that up to half of these people are unaware of their condition (undiagnosed diabetes).

In the UK, more than 2.7 million people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes whilst a further 750,000 people are believed to have the symptoms but are yet to be diagnosed with the disease.

How serious is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However the development of type 2 diabetes and its side effects (complications) can be prevented if detected…