Diabetes Treatment and Management
Your primary care physician is a great resource if you need information about reducing your risk of disease. Diabetes is just one of the chronic diseases you might be able to prevent by getting regular checkups and talking with your doctor about nutrition and exercise. Uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk for stroke, heart attack, blindness, and other serious complications, so it is important to tell your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms.
Types of Diabetes Treatment and Management
You may be familiar with the two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin. In some people with this type of diabetes, the body does not produce any insulin at all. This form of diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells. Type 1 diabetes usually develops during childhood, but it can also develop later in life. If you have this type of diabetes, treatment and management will include daily insulin injections to control your blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for most cases of diabetes. If you have this form of diabetes, your body may be resistant to the effects of insulin. You may be able to avoid this type of diabetes by getting regular exercise and eating healthy foods, but it is not preventable in every case.
If you have high blood sugar levels while you are pregnant, you may have gestational diabetes. It is important to get the right prenatal care before your baby is born so your doctor can monitor your glucose levels and help you minimize the risk of complications. Gestational diabetes also increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes in the future, so see your doctor regularly and maintain your diabetes treatment and management regime.
Signs and Symptoms
If you have type 2 diabetes, you may not experience any symptoms until the condition worsens. The most common signs and symptoms of diabetes are elevated blood sugar levels, frequent urination, blurry vision, and extreme fatigue. You may feel very hungry or thirsty even if you are eating and drinking enough. If you have type 1 diabetes, you may experience unexplained weight loss. If you have type 2 diabetes, tingling, pain, and numbness in the hands and feet are one of the symptoms of the condition. If you have pre-diabetes symptoms such as a borderline high blood sugar level, you should be monitored closely.
If you tell your doctor you have pre-diabetes symptoms or signs of diabetes, you will need blood tests to determine if you have the disease. The hemoglobin A1C test will give your doctor an idea of how well you have been controlling your blood sugar. A fasting blood glucose test will tell your doctor if your blood sugar level is too high or too low. Your doctor will use these tests to determine if you have diabetes or monitor you after you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
The complications of diabetes can be very serious, so it is important to follow your diabetes treatment and management plan. Uncontrolled diabetes damages the blood vessels, so you might develop blindness, kidney problems, or heart disease. Diabetes has also been linked to dental problems, digestive problems, joint disorders, and sexual dysfunction.
Individualized Diabetes Care
As physicians, we work with you to develop a diabetes treatment and management plan appropriate for your particular needs. We will also help you to learn about healthy food preparation, safe exercise methods, and other ways to keep your blood sugar in check and avoid complications.