Diabetes Q & A
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that interferes with the way your body produces or uses insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in your pancreas that helps your body convert glucose — blood sugar — into energy. If you don’t have enough insulin or your body doesn’t use it correctly, your blood sugar levels increase, which can lead to a wide range of complications, including high blood pressure, blindness, and nerve damage.
There are three main times of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational. Type 1 diabetes usually emerges in childhood and causes a relatively rapid onset of symptoms. Type 2 diabetes often develops in adulthood, although it’s becoming more common in children and adolescents. Some women develop gestational diabetes during their second trimester of pregnancy.
Type 2 diabetes doesn’t always cause symptoms right away, and this is why so many Americans don’t know they have the disease. However, as the disease progresses, or if you have untreated Type 1 diabetes, you may notice symptoms, including:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Slowly healing sores or ulcers
- Blurry vision
Regardless of whether you have symptoms, blood tests are the best way to assess your risk of diabetes or diagnose the condition. At New Tampa Internal Medicine Associates, Dr. Farooqui includes comprehensive blood work in your annual exams to screen for diabetes and other health issues.
What causes diabetes?
The different types of diabetes have different causes. For example, Type 1 diabetes is due to an autoimmune disorder that destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
Type 2 diabetes is influenced by genetics, but your lifestyle plays a more significant role. If you’re overweight or obese, your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes are significantly higher than if your weight is within the healthy range.
Gestational diabetes is due to a hormone produced by the placenta that interferes with the way your body uses insulin. Gestational diabetes usually goes away soon after your baby is born, but it increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later.
How is diabetes treated?
Dr. Farooqui offers customized treatment plans to manage your condition. Most treatment plans include a combination of lifestyle modifications and medication. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin since your body doesn’t produce it. Type 2 and gestational diabetes can often be controlled with dietary changes and physical activity. However, if diet and exercise aren’t enough to regulate your blood sugar, you may need to take insulin, too.
Call New Tampa Internal Medicine Associates or schedule a consultation online today for diabetes screening and personalized treatment.