What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an umbrella term for many diseases, which share the common feature of inadequate production of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Depending on the type of diabetes you have, your pancreas either produces zero to insufficient amounts of insulin.
Without proper levels of insulin, blood sugar — or glucose — cannot properly circulate throughout the body. Glucose is an important source of energy for your muscles and tissues, as well as providing fuel for your brain.
What are the different types of diabetes?
There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. Each type has its own unique characteristics.
Contrary to popular belief, Type 1 diabetes is not just a disease for children. More adults than children actually have this form of the disease. People with Type 1 diabetes make zero to very little insulin.
People with Type 2 diabetes can make insulin, but not in the right amounts. There tends to be either too much or too little insulin to sustain normal levels of blood glucose.
Gestational diabetes, the third type, occurs during pregnancy. This condition usually clears up after the baby is born.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Diabetes symptoms vary based on how elevated your blood sugar is. Some people with Type 2 diabetes can exhibit almost no symptoms, while those with Type 1 diabetes may experience a sudden onset of serious symptoms, including the following:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
How is diabetes diagnosed?
Diabetes is usually diagnosed through a blood test called the A1C. This test indicates the average blood glucose level in your bloodstream over about two months. A normal A1C is below 5.7. A test between 5.7 and 6.4 is a sign of prediabetes, and a test over 6.5 is considered full-blown diabetes.
How is diabetes treated?
Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you should eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. People with Type 1 diabetes either inject insulin or use an insulin pump to keep their blood glucose levels stable.
People with Type 2 diabetes often can control their blood sugar levels through diet and regular monitoring. Medications are also available for treatment.
Dr. Rafiq and his team can determine if you have diabetes and then develop the best way to treat it. Call or schedule an appointment online to learn more.