What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is the inability to use or create insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that allows glucose or sugar to enter the cells. It is a chronic metabolic disorder in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t respond to the produced insulin.
Typically, the body breaks down most of our food into glucose, the body’s main source of energy. Glucose requires the help of insulin in order to move into the cells of the body. A person without diabetes naturally produces enough insulin to do this which obviously isn’t the case for someone with diabetes. This causes glucose to build up in the blood instead of moving into the cells. Serious health problems can occur if too much glucose builds up in the blood. Although diabetes can lead to serious complications, it can be successfully managed through diet, lifestyle modifications or medication.
While type 1 diabetes usually develops throughout childhood or adolescence, it can also occur during adulthood. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes may not require insulin. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes symptoms may consist of:
- Increased thirst
- Unusual weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Frequent infections
- Blurry vision
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Cuts of bruises that heal slowly
- Recurring skin, mouth, vaginal or bladder infections
Diabetes Risk Factors
The exact cause of diabetes is not clear but there are risk factors leading to increased chances of developing diabetes. Type 1 diabetes risk factors include; the presence of autoantibodies (damaging immune system cells), family history of diabetes, as well as environmental factors.
Risks for developing type 2 diabetes increase with age and may consist of:
- Lack of exercise
- Being overweight
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Low level of HDL cholesterol
We offer a full range of diagnostic testing at our office including:
At Park Avenue Endocrinology and Nutrition, we are expert diabetologists. We use state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and manage patients with diabetes, Type 1 and 2. Guided by initial history and physical exam, our team performs a panel of comprehensive tests including Hemoglobin A1c, insulin, and C-peptide levels to properly diagnose diabetes. We are able to closely monitor patients by downloading blood sugar monitoring device measurements onto our computers.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of preventable diabetes. This is affected by factors such as obesity, age, and family history. While the body may still produce enough insulin, it cannot use it effectively and overtime, production decreases.
For patients with Type 2 Diabetes, through our state of the art testing, we can design an accurate, comprehensive plan that combines diet, exercise, and medication to ensure excellent control. In many cases, patients can be taken off insulin and/or medications when appropriate diets are followed.
Type 1 Diabetes
In addition, we have a special interest in managing patients with Type 1 Diabetes. Patients can improve control using a variety of insulin pumps and simplify their regimen and lives. State-of-the-art continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMS) are now available in the office to refine treatment patterns. Individualization remains paramount, and our practice offers all available options to patients. We have an onsite Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) to assist with chronic management.
Type 1 diabetes can be sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes since it is typically diagnosed in children. However, Type 1 can also affect adults. Type 1 diabetes is a direct result of an autoimmune disease where the body attacked the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells. This disables the body’s ability to produce insulin.
When not treated properly, diabetes can lead to nerve damage, heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. In addition, it may lead to permanent eye, foot, skin and bone damage. It is important for people who have diabetes to take an active approach in managing their condition. Living a healthy lifestyle and monitoring blood glucose levels are necessary in order to prevent any possible complications.
Education for Diabetes
For further education on diabetes view our Diabetes educational videos.