Diabetes is a serious, chronic metabolic disorder in which the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin that is produced is dysfunctional. Affecting nearly 7 percent of people in the US, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and is considered a growing disease. Of the 24 million Americans with diabetes, it’s estimated that only around 18 million patients have been diagnosed. People with high blood sugar can experience increasing thirst, excessive hunger or frequent urination but may not experience any symptoms initially. Woodbridge Internal Medical Associates can help you maintain good health through testing and education for diabetes management.
Learn more about diabetic glucose monitoring and vision care:
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes (T1D): Can occur at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed from infancy to late 30s. If a person is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, their pancreas produces little to no insulin, and the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin several times every day or continually infuse insulin through a pump, as well as manage their diet and exercise habits.
Type 2 Diabetes (T2D): Typically develops after age 40, but has recently begun to appear with more frequency in children. If a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, their pancreas still produces insulin, but the body does not produce enough or is not able to use it effectively. Those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes manage their disease through a combination of treatments, including diet control, exercise, self-monitoring of blood glucose, and in some cases, oral drugs or insulin.
Pre-Diabetes: Is when blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. This is a warning sign that this patient is at risk for developing diabetes. The good news is that beneficial changes in diet and exercise can prevent pre-diabetes from turning into Type 2 diabetes.
Knowing the warning signs for diabetes could help save a life! Take notice if you or your loved one experiences the following:
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Drowsiness and lethargy
- Sugar in urine
- Sudden vision changes
- Increased appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
- Heavy, labored breathing
- Stupor or unconsciousness
Each person’s treatment plan for diabetes is different. Treatment plans are mostly dependent on the type of diabetes a person has, as well as their daily activities, diet, and glucose levels. In order to control their glucose levels, people with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin several times a day, as well as stay on a consistent diet and exercise regimen. For those with type 2 diabetes, treatment includes diet, exercise, and self-monitoring of blood glucose levels. Also, in some cases, oral drugs or insulin will be used as part of the treatment.
Treatment of diabetes includes maintaining a healthy diet, leading an active life, and monitoring blood glucose levels. Insulin injections or oral medications are needed for many people, as well. Those that undergo the recommended lifestyle changes and treatment are often able to delay or avoid diabetes complications, which include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, and diabetic retinopathy.