At Heartland Regional Medical Group, our family medicine specialists are here to help you better manage diabetes. We offer information about living with diabetes, managing diabetes, identifying risk factors, improve coping skills, increasing physical activity, performing blood glucose testing, taking preventative measures and working to develop healthy eating habits.
What is Diabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects more than 34 million people in the United States. Diabetes changes how the body controls blood glucose (or blood sugar). It is classified as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes.
There is not yet a current cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. Balancing the food you eat with exercise and medicine (if prescribed) will help you control your weight and can keep your blood glucose in the healthy range. This can help prevent or delay complications. People with diabetes can still live long and healthy lives.
Common Symptoms of Diabetes
- Urinating often
- Increased thirst
- Feeling very hungry
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Weight loss
- Tingling, pain or numbness in hands or feet
Diabetes Risk Factors
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Type 1 Diabetes
Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. In type 1 diabetes, commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, the body does not produce insulin. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. Only give percent of people with diabetes have this form the disease.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is culled insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. However, over time, it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
Preventing Diabetes Complications
Diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems. With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications, including: hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), heart attack, stroke, kidney dialysis, blindness and amputation. Annual eye exams and regular foot checks and dental exams are recommended.