Diabetes is a serious, chronic metabolic disorder in which the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin that is produced is dysfunctional. Affecting nearly 7 percent of people in the U.S., diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and is considered a growing disease. Of the 24 million Americans with diabetes, it’s estimated that only around 18 million patients have been diagnosed. People with high blood sugar can experience increasing thirst, excessive hunger or frequent urination. The providers at Alpharetta and Cumming Internal Medicine can help you maintain good health through testing and education for diabetes management. Learn more about diabetic glucose monitoring and vision care:
Types of Diabetes
- Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) can occur at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed from infancy to late 30s. If a person is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, their pancreas produces little to no insulin, and the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin several times every day or continually infuse insulin through a pump, as well as manage their diet and exercise habits.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) typically develops after age 40, but has recently begun to appear with more frequency in children. If a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, their pancreas still produces insulin, but the body does not produce enough or is not able to use it effectively. Those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes manage their disease through a combination of treatments, including diet control, exercise, self-monitoring of blood glucose, and in some cases, oral drugs or insulin.
- Gestational (pregnancy-induced) diabetes and Prediabetes: Gestational diabetes also known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), is when a woman without diabetes, develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Diagnosis is by blood tests. For those at normal risk screening is recommended between 24 and 28 weeks gestation.
Knowing the warning signs for diabetes could help save a life! Type 1 diabetes can often go undiagnosed in its early stages because the symptoms can be mistaken for more common illnesses, like the flu. Take notice if you or your loved one experiences the following:
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Drowsiness and lethargy
- Sugar in urine
- Sudden vision changes
- Increased appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
- Heavy, labored breathing
- Stupor or unconsciousness
Each person’s treatment plan for diabetes is different. Treatment plans are mostly dependent on the type of diabetes a person has, as well as their daily activities, diet, and glucose levels. In order to control their glucose levels, people with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin several times a day, as well as stay on a consistent diet and exercise regimen. For those with type 2 diabetes, treatment includes diet, exercise, and self-monitoring of blood glucose levels. Also, in some cases, oral drugs or insulin will be used as part of the treatment.
Treatment of diabetes includes maintaining a healthy diet, leading an active life, and monitoring blood glucose levels. Insulin injections or oral medications are needed for many people, as well. Those that undergo the recommended lifestyle changes and treatment are often able to delay or avoid diabetes complications, which include skin disorders, glaucoma, cataracts, nerve damage, ketoacidosis, kidney disease, high blood pressure, HHNS, gastroparesis, and stroke.
Alpharetta and Cumming Internal Medicine has experienced staff and physicians who can help you live your life to its fullest. If you live north of Atlanta in Roswell, Woodstock, Johns Creek, Suwanee or Canton, you are just a short distance from the best primary care in Georgia. Call us at 770/475-2377 to schedule an appointment today!