Over 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, and millions more are at risk with prediabetes symptoms. If you’re one of them and live in or around Campbellsville, Kentucky, contact Dr. Jerome Dixon, Dr. Kevan Graves, Dr. Troy Nelson, and the rest of the team at CrossRoads Family Medicine for expert treatment and symptom management advice. Call or schedule an appointment online today.
Insulin is a hormone produced in your pancreas that helps your body convert glucose — blood sugar — into energy. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use it properly, causing your blood sugar levels to increase. Prediabetes is when your glucose levels are high, but you haven’t reached the threshold for diabetes.
There are three types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes, occurs when your body doesn’t produce insulin. It’s typically diagnosed in childhood.
Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed later in life, although it’s getting more common in children and adolescents. It develops when your body doesn’t use insulin properly.
When you’re pregnant, your placenta releases a hormone that can inhibit the way your body uses insulin. After you give birth, your body returns to its normal ability to use insulin.
Diabetes may not initially cause any symptoms, and the only way to check for diabetes is to have routine bloodwork, including glucose checks, at your annual wellness exams. As the disease progresses, diabetes causes symptoms including:
The specific cause of diabetes is a mystery, but your genetics, family medical history, and environmental factors contribute to the development of the disease.
Type 1 diabetes comes from an autoimmune response that targets and destroys the pancreatic cells that make insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as insulin resistance because your cells grow resistant to insulin and your pancreas can’t produce enough extra insulin to make up for it. Being overweight or obese, eating a high-sugar diet, and leading a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to your risk of developing diabetes.
The team at CrossRoads Family Medicine suggests lifestyle changes if you have diabetes or prediabetes. For example, changing your diet to include more vegetables and lean proteins and fewer choices with excess sugar can help control your glucose levels. Similarly, even a 30-minute walk after a meal can help your body use insulin more effectively.
If necessary, the doctors can prescribe medications to help control your blood sugar levels. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin to make up for what your body doesn’t produce.
Call or schedule an appointment online today if you’re concerned about diabetes.