Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by problems creating or making proper use of insulin. This essential hormone is produced in your pancreas, and it works to enable glucose to move from your bloodstream into your cells, where it acts as a fuel for the full scope of cellular functions.
There are two primary types of diabetes.
Researchers believe that this type of diabetes stems from an autoimmune condition in which your body mistakenly attacks healthy pancreas cells, preventing normal insulin production. People with Type 1 diabetes usually need supplemental insulin for survival.
By far the most common form of diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to lifestyle choices like diet and exercise. This form of diabetes often develops in adulthood, but it can begin during childhood years. Routine physicals and blood testing can determine your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
There are also several less common types of diabetes, including gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy and usually resolves after childbirth. However, women who have gestational diabetes have a significantly higher likelihood of later developing Type 2 diabetes as well.
Diabetes robs your cells of the fuel needed to thrive, and it negatively affects virtually all of the organs and systems within your body. Some of the health risks linked to diabetes are:
These are just some of the health issues that can arise when you have diabetes. Fortunately, screening for this chronic health disease requires just a simple blood test, and it’s part of routine preventive health care.
There are numerous ways to treat diabetes. Some people require supplemental insulin to enable the normal conversion of food into energy. There are many different types of insulin to choose from and multiple delivery systems.
Medications can also help manage diabetes. Some drugs work to alter the way your body produces and releases glucose. Others focus on boosting and regulating insulin production and release.
There are medications that make your tissues more sensitive to insulin and others that redirect glucose from your bloodstream to your urine.
Lifestyle modifications are a powerful treatment option, especially for Type 2 diabetes. Improving your nutrition can lower your blood sugar, and getting plenty of exercise is also incredibly helpful.
For people who are overweight or obese, shedding excess pounds is a great way to manage diabetes.
If you have additional questions or concerns, call the office to book a visit or use the easy Sigma Primary Care online scheduling tool.