What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious chronic health condition that affects your body’s ability to produce insulin, which turns food into energy. If your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, your bloodstream will have too much blood sugar in it, which can lead to other health problems like heart disease, blindness, and kidney disease. There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction that prevents your body from making appropriate amounts of insulin. Only around 5-10% of the people diagnosed with diabetes have type 1, and symptoms generally come on quickly and can include nausea, vomiting, and stomach pains. Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include family history and younger age, as it typically begins during childhood or young adulthood.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes happens when your body doesn’t use insulin the way it’s supposed to and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. Type 2 is the most commonly diagnosed diabetes and usually develops gradually without any noticeable symptoms. If you do notice symptoms, they may include frequent urination, increased hunger and thirst, unintentional weight loss, blurred vision, numb hands or feet, fatigue, and slowly healing wounds. You may be at a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes if you have prediabetes, are overweight, are 45 years or older, exercise less than three times a week, and are of African American, Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native descent.
How We Manage Diabetes
Although there is no one treatment for diabetes, there are ways to help manage your condition and control your A1C levels. The providers of Nirvana Healthcare Management Services offer diabetes management services to help our patients reach their best possible health. Your physician will work with you to decide on treatment options that can help you to do so, and some of these include:
Insulin therapy is essential for the survival of people with Type 1 diabetes, and many Type 2 diabetes patients also require insulin therapy to control their blood sugar. Insulin is injected into the fat beneath your skin using a syringe, insulin pen, or insulin pump. You might have to check and record your blood sugar multiple times a day if you take insulin to ensure it’s in the target range.
Monitoring Blood Sugar
Monitoring blood sugar is another method to help manage diabetes and make sure that your blood sugar level is within your target range. This is usually done with a glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor. Your physician may also recommend regular A1C testing as part of your treatment plan.
Occasionally, your physician may prescribe medications to help manage diabetes. These include SGLT2 inhibitors that prevent the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar into the blood, medications that stimulate your pancreas to produce and release more insulin, medications that inhibit the production of glucose from your liver, and more.
Making lifestyle changes is typically recommended for people with Type 2 diabetes. Your doctor may make suggestions for living healthier, which include getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, quitting smoking, and more.
Diabetes is a serious disease, but the good news is with careful management, you can reduce your risk of dangerous complications and your primary care physician at Nirvana Healthcare Management Services will assist you.