Diabetes is a complex chronic disease that requires lifelong care and management. At Today’s Wellness and Primary Care in Wilmington, Reading, North Andover, and Stoneham, Massachusetts, Mohammed Jaleel, MD, and Chloe Fish, NP, provide comprehensive diabetes care. Call Today’s Wellness and Primary Care or schedule an online appointment to learn more.
Diabetes is a chronic condition in which your body doesn’t process glucose (sugar) efficiently. Insulin, a hormone that the pancreas produces, allows your body to remove glucose from the blood and use it for energy. If you have insulin, your body either doesn’t make enough of the hormone or doesn’t produce it at all.
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that prevents the pancreas from producing insulin. To regulate your blood sugar, you must take regular insulin injections. Most patients develop symptoms of Type 1 diabetes during childhood, but the condition can also develop in young adults.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t use insulin productively. It accounts for the majority of diabetes cases. While Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age, it commonly occurs after age 45. Some individuals with Type 2 diabetes must take regular insulin injections, but many manage their blood sugar levels with diet and lifestyle modifications.
Consistently high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are a common sign of gestational diabetes. While gestational diabetes typically resolves on its own after childbirth, it raises your risk of Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Most forms of diabetes develop gradually and start with prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are high but not high enough for a diagnosis. Early intervention can reverse the effects of prediabetes and prevent diabetes.
Diabetes symptoms can vary depending on the type you have, but the most common signs are:
Another telltale sign of diabetes is tingling in the hands and feet. Also called peripheral neuropathy, this symptom of diabetes can increase your risk of diabetic wounds that don’t heal on their own. Proper foot care is critical to avoid serious complications, such as loss of sensation.
While Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that isn’t preventable, common causes of Type 2 diabetes include:
If you currently show signs of prediabetes, the team may recommend lifestyle changes to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
No matter which type of diabetes you have, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen is essential for managing your condition. Monitoring your blood sugar levels also helps prevent diabetes complications, such as extreme thirst or hunger. The team may also recommend regular insulin injections to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
To learn more about diabetes, call Today’s Wellness and Primary Care or schedule an appointment online today.