A metabolic disorder, diabetes (including pre-diabetes) affects more than 100 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thankfully, it's a common condition that can be well-managed with proper care. If you live in the St. Louis area, consult Dr. Daniel Bekele at North City Urgent Care for a full evaluation and the best possible treatment regimen. You can pre-register using the online portal for even faster service.
Diabetes occurs when your body can no longer adjust to high blood sugar (glucose) levels. This happens when your body stops processing insulin or when your pancreas can’t produce enough of it.
How your body uses glucose is impaired. This is very important because glucose is fuel for your brain, as well as a major source of energy for your tissue and muscle cells. The body cannot function without glucose.
The type of diabetes is determined by the cause, but what they all have in common is that your blood may develop an excess of sugar. Serious health issues can develop as a result.
Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are chronic conditions that must be managed carefully. Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are elevated, but not yet in the diabetic category. Finally, there’s gestational diabetes, which can develop while pregnant.
The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown, but may be a result of a combination of environmental factors and genetic susceptibility.
Type 1 diabetes is what occurs when the normally helpful immune system destroys insulin production within the pancreas. Little-to-no insulin is left, and as a result, sugar in the bloodstream grows to unhealthy levels.
Prediabetes may lead to type 2 diabetes, where cells become resistant to insulin action and the pancreas can’t make enough insulin to ward off the resistance. Again, too much sugar stockpiles in the bloodstream.
Environmental and genetic factors may play a role in type 2 diabetes. Being overweight can also be a strong factor, but isn’t always the case.
Diabetes symptoms may vary. Some with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes may not have any symptoms at first. In type 1 diabetes, the onset of symptoms is usually quick and pronounced.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes symptoms include:
Depending on which type of diabetes you have, symptoms may also change over time.
Treatment of diabetes will depend on your symptoms and type. Dr. Bekele performs blood sugar tests, or an oral glucose tolerance test, which involves fasting overnight. In the suspicion of type 1 diabetes, he tests your urine for ketones.
If you're diagnosed, Dr. Bekele recommends changes to your diet and exercise habits, and may prescribe insulin therapy, blood level monitoring, and oral medication. In some cases, he may also prescribe pancreatic transplants or bariatric surgery.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of diabetes, a proper diagnosis is the necessary first step on your path to managing your illness and preventing serious health complications. Visit North City Urgent Care today to get tested.