Diabetes Q & A
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious, long-term medical condition that develops when your body has a problem with a hormone called insulin.
Insulin is essential for regulating the level of glucose, or sugars, in your blood. If your blood glucose levels are too low or too high, it can trigger a medical emergency, and chronic fluctuations in blood sugar can lead to a variety of unpleasant and life-changing symptoms.
What causes diabetes?
In a healthy person, the pancreas makes insulin and releases it in the optimum quantity to keep blood glucose levels healthy. You may be diagnosed with diabetes if:
If you’re not producing any insulin at all, you have Type 1 diabetes, which typically develops in younger people and causes noticeable symptoms. Type 1 diabetes isn’t preventable or curable, because a dysfunction in your immune system causes your body to destroy the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. People who have Type 1 diabetes need lifelong management with insulin therapy.
If your body is producing too little insulin, or not using what it’s making, you have Type 2 diabetes. This is a preventable form of diabetes that develops as a result of lifestyle issues, primarily being overweight or obese and not getting enough exercise. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking also increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
As it’s caused by lifestyle factors, Type 2 diabetes tends to develop in middle age or later life, but the rise in childhood obesity means that many more children are developing Type 2 diabetes now. In the early stages, you may not experience any symptoms, which is why having a regular diabetes screening test at Alexandria Immediate Care should be a priority.
What treatments are available for Type 2 diabetes?
The most important treatments for diabetes involve lifestyle modifications, including:
These measures can prevent diabetes and reverse it in the early stages. Depending on your blood glucose levels, you may also need to inject insulin and take other medications, and you’ll need regular checkups so your provider can assess potential complications of diabetes, such as foot ulcers, peripheral neuropathy, eye problems, kidney and heart conditions, and depression.
To arrange a simple screening test for diabetes, call Alexandria Immediate Care today, or book an appointment online.