Premier Primary Care
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics located in New Albany, IN
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that affects your metabolic system. The condition relates to how you produce and use insulin, a hormone that shuttles sugars from the food you eat into your cells.
When you have diabetes, you’re at risk of having chronically high blood sugar, which can cause damage to your blood vessels and internal organs.
There are several types of diabetes, including:
Type 1 diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes can’t produce insulin. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease diagnosed in childhood or young adulthood. Your immune system malfunctions and attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in middle age but is increasingly being seen in younger adults. When you have type 2 diabetes, you don’t produce enough insulin or your body doesn’t use the insulin you do produce properly. As a result, your blood sugar remains high and causes damage to your body.
You can also be diagnosed with prediabetes. With prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not quite high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. If you don’t intervene and treat prediabetes, you’re at a very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
If you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, you may not have any noticeable symptoms.
In some people, however, diabetes can present with symptoms like:
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Blurry vision
- Chronic fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Tingling in your hands and feet
With type 1 diabetes, these symptoms may come on relatively quickly.
How is diabetes diagnosed?
A simple in-office blood sugar test at Premier Primary Care can determine if you have high blood sugar and are diabetic.
People who are symptom-free but at risk of developing diabetes may be tested even if they show no symptoms. At-risk people include those who:
- Have a family history of the disease
- Are overweight
- Follow a poor diet
Blood sugar tests, or glucose tests, are sometimes included as part of a regular yearly exam.
How is diabetes managed and treated?
Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed so you can live a normal life. Patients with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin therapy to maintain normal blood sugar levels. This may be provided via an insulin pump or with daily injections you give yourself.
If you have type 2 diabetes, the team at Premier Primary Care recommends lifestyle and dietary changes to help you manage your condition naturally. They may also offer oral medications to help normalize your blood sugar. Prediabetics also benefit from lifestyle changes.
The team can also help coordinate your care with any specialists you see to manage diabetes complications.
For expert management of your diabetes, request an appointment at Premier Primary Care by phone or online today.