Diabetes mellitus (also called type 2 diabetes) is a disorder characterized by abnormally high blood sugar (or glucose) levels. The body does not produce enough insulin to meet its needs, which leads to increased glucose in the blood.
Over time, people with type 2 diabetes may experience complications related to their conditions. Managing diabetes is essential to prevent additional health problems, including heart disease and nerve damage.
Complications of diabetes include diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, circulatory losses, and decreased wound healing. To reduce the risk of experiencing these side effects, people with diabetes must pay attention to the food they eat, the exercise they engage in, and the medication regimens they have been prescribed by their doctors.
Interesting Facts About Diabetes
Diabetes is an increasingly common disease. However, there are misconceptions about proper medical care and factors in the development of type 2 diabetes in the United States. Our office compiled some interesting facts about diabetes that may be misunderstood by a large portion of the population.
- Thirst and urination increase after a diabetes diagnosis. In type 1 diabetes in particular, people may lose weight without intending to do so.
- Nerve damage and diminished sensation can occur in response to diabetes. High blood sugar levels can lead to a higher risk of developing nerve damage. This leads to decreases in sensation and may even lead to phantom pains, tingling, and numbness.
- Blood vessels are damaged by diabetes. Damaged blood vessels can result in high blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
- Diabetes is diagnosed when a primary care physician or specialist measures blood sugar levels. This is typically done in response to symptoms or during a yearly screening checking for insulin resistance.
- People with diabetes need to follow a low-sugar, low-fat diet, exercise regularly, and take medication to manage their condition.
How Do You Get Diabetes?
Insulin is a hormone released from the pancreas that controls the amount of sugar found in the blood. After eating and drinking, the body releases insulin to manage levels of glucose. The body needs glucose to function. However, excessive levels can lead to complications and increase your risk of developing diabetes and other health conditions.
When food and liquids are consumed, they are broken down into small components. These components include glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. Insulin release allows sugar to be removed from the bloodstream to cells in the body.
Within cells, glucose is converted to energy. This energy is either immediately used or stored as fat or glycogen until the body needs energy.
Blood sugar levels vary widely throughout the day. Levels rise in response to a meal, then return to normal within 2 hours of eating. Once sugar levels reach their baseline level, insulin production ceases.
Blood sugar variation typically falls within the range of 70 to 110 milligrams per deciliter (or mg/dL) of blood. Carbohydrates can cause blood glucose levels to increase more dramatically. People who are 65 years and older may have higher levels of blood glucose, especially following a meal.
Without enough insulin to transport sugar from the blood to the cells, signs of diabetes begin to form. The high levels of blood sugar and inadequate cellular sugar come together as early signs of diabetes. Eventually, diabetes mellitus and its symptoms come to light.
There are many reasons why diabetes occurs. Diets high in sugars and carbohydrates, sedentary lifestyles, and genetic factors can all be contributing factors. Weight loss, improved dietary habits, and regular exercise can all help mitigate some of the risk factors associated with diabetes development.
Standard Diabetes Treatment Options
Diabetes treatments vary depending on the type of diabetes and the symptoms currently being displayed. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer creates and distributes insulin in the blood. Treatment focuses on introducing enough insulin into the bloodstream. Without insulin, blood sugar levels continue to increase drastically, and people with type 1 diabetes are at significant risk.
Treating type 2 diabetes is usually more varied, as type 2 diabetes has different origins and even different symptoms. Rather than focusing on supplying insulin to the body, treatment might involve first changing dietary and lifestyle habits. For some diabetes patients, dietary changes and the introduction of exercise are enough to eliminate symptoms of diabetes. For others, lifelong medication regimens are essential.
Diabetes treatments usually fluctuate throughout an individual’s life. Stress, weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and aging can all impact blood sugar levels and effective diabetes management. As these life changes come and go, your doctor may suggest changes to your medication and treatment regimens.
Diabetes Treatment in Rock Hill, SC
If you are concerned about exhibiting symptoms of diabetes in Rock Hill, SC, or Charlotte, NC, our office can help! Whether you live in Rock Hill or Charlotte, schedule an appointment with our medical team today!