What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disorder of the endocrine system. This serious condition of metabolism affects nearly 10% of the American population and around 25% of seniors over 65.
Diabetes occurs due to inadequate production of insulin or a problem with using the insulin that’s available. Insulin, a hormone which is produced by the pancreas, is necessary to properly distribute and utilize glucose, which is the primary energy source for every system of the body.
When insulin is not produced at the rate required by the body, glucose builds up in the bloodstream. This causes an uncontrolled elevation of your blood sugar. Consistently elevated blood sugar has devastating effects on the body.
Uncontrolled diabetes can be a contributing factor to other health concerns, such as:
- Heart disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Kidney disease
- Impaired wound healing
Proper management of diabetes is essential to avoid or diminish your risks for these and other serious health problems.
What are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes. These types are dependent on the way degree to which your body naturally produces insulin:
- Type 1: Body does not produce any insulin
- Type 2: Body produces a small amount of insulin and doesn’t use insulin properly
Depending on the type of diabetes you have, a combination of diet, oral medications, and injected insulin is required to manage your blood sugar and prevent long-term complications.
What are symptoms of diabetes?
Symptoms of the uncontrolled blood sugar of diabetes may include:
- Excessive hunger or thirst
- Frequent urination
- Frequent infections or slow-healing wounds
- Blurry vision
- Fatigue or generalized weakness
If you think you may have diabetes, it’s important to get your blood glucose levels checked.
What does long-term diabetic care look like?
Cullman Internal Medicine is proud that all of their physicians are part of the NCQA Diabetes Recognition Program. In order to have this honor, diabetes management plans must include:
- Hemoglobin A1C (long-term) blood sugar monitoring
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Regular eye examinations
- Neuropathy assessments
- Foot examinations
- Smoking and tobacco cessation counseling
Your diabetic management plan also includes nutrition counseling, skin monitoring education, blood sugar monitoring education, insulin pump management, and exercise counseling. Together, you and your medical team can ensure the best possible long-term outcome for your diabetes.
For a consultation and personalized diabetic management plan, call the office or book an appointment with Cullman Internal Medicine today.