Diabetes management is one of the most important aspects of internal medicine. It has been estimated that roughly 29 million people in the United States alone suffer from one or more forms of diabetes, and that number represents nearly ten percent of the country's population.
The condition can be managed, with the proper help from a trained internal medicine associate. Modern advances to medicine have opened the door to many new styles of treatment, all of which bring the disease further under your control. Without proper diabetes management, the condition can cause serious side effects including kidney failure, blindness, and loss of extremities.
The overarching group of diseases referred to by the name diabetes, also known in the medical community as diabetes mellitus, is comprised of three separate forms of the condition. The metabolic disease, in general, is characterized by high blood glucose due either to inadequate insulin production or the body's failure to respond to insulin. One of the main symptoms of high blood glucose is an increased hunger and thirst, along with frequent urination. Other symptoms include blurry vision, extreme fatigue, and numbness in the extremities. The three types of diabetes are outlined briefly below.
- Type 1 Diabetes
Also known as juvenile diabetes, early onset diabetes, and insulin dependent diabetes, type 1 diabetes is characterized by a complete lack of insulin production in the body. Type 1 diabetes only makes up about ten percent of all diabetes cases.
- Type 2 Diabetes
Either the body does not react to insulin, which is known as insulin resistance, or the body produces insulin but in insufficient quantities. Type 2 diabetes makes up 90 percent of the world's diabetes cases, and makes up the majority of diabetes patients for many internal medicine specialists.
- Gestational Diabetes
This form occurs during pregnancy, and is caused by an increase in blood sugar due to an inability to produce enough insulin to deal with the high levels of glucose. Most women who experience this condition are able to control it with proper diet and exercise for the length of their pregnancy.
Type 2 diabetes is clearly the most serious condition in the group, if for no other reason than its prevalence compared to the others. It has been proven that overweight people are far more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those of normal weight, and much of that correlation points to the diet of those who are overweight or obese. They tend to consume things that are higher in sugar, which leads to increased fat production, as well as an increased tolerance to insulin, which slowly builds on the existing diabetes. This is why type 2 diabetes is considered a progressive disease. Eventually, the patient will have to be prescribed a tablet form of insulin.
Diabetes management is possible when you visit one of our internal medicine associates at Premier Medicine and Wellness. They can help point you in the direction you need to go, especially when it comes to the lifestyle changes you can make to manage the disease on a fully comprehensive scale. Cutting out processed, sugary foods, maintaining a healthy exercise regimen, and reducing body fat can all help reverse the symptoms of the disease. A diet that works to avoid type 2 diabetes will be based on natural foods that are low in sugar. Even with proper diet, exercise, and body weight, it is possible that the patient may still need to take insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop in older people, although no one is sure why. The leading theory is a decrease in physical activity as one ages, which leads to weight gain. If you've had a relative with the condition, you are more likely to develop it than someone who has not. Those of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian ancestry tend to experience the disease in higher proportion, as well as men with low testosterone. If you experience symptoms of the condition, or you want to speak to a professional internal medicine associate about your status, contact us today.