As the American Diabetes Association reports, more than 34 Americans currently live with diabetes. Megan Dillman, MD, is a double board-certified internal medicine and pediatrics specialist who uses evidence-based care to prevent, manage, and treat diabetes at MD² in Lakeville, Minnesota. To learn more about diabetes, call MD² or schedule an appointment online today.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that interferes with the way your body uses glucose (sugar) for energy. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which helps convert glucose into energy that your body uses to function properly.
If you have diabetes, your pancreas either doesn’t produce insulin, or your body doesn’t use it efficiently. As a result, glucose builds in the blood and begins damaging your blood vessel walls. This accumulation can lead to several serious complications, including stroke, vision loss, and peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage).
The three most common types of diabetes are:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Individuals with this condition cannot produce insulin on their own. If you have type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin injections daily for your cells to get the glucose they need.
Far more common than type 1 diabetes, this chronic condition occurs when your body no longer uses insulin as it should. Type 2 diabetes is often the result of lifestyle factors, such as excess weight, poor diet, or low activity levels.
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy. While most instances of gestational diabetes resolve once you give birth, the condition can raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Diabetes symptoms typically vary depending on the type you have, but the most common signs are:
Monitoring your blood sugar and managing your symptoms are essential for preventing diabetes complications.
Type 1 diabetes typically occurs during childhood or adolescence. There is no known cause. It’s far more common to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Some of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes include:
While the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can start at any age, your risk increases as you get older.
How Dr. Dillman and the team treat your diabetes depends on the type you have. To help manage your symptoms and prevent complications, she may recommend:
If you currently experience symptoms, such as peripheral neuropathy, Dr. Dillman may encourage modifying your footwear and performing regular self-checks on your feet. These routine screenings can help prevent diabetic wounds and tissue damage.
To learn more about diabetes, call MD² or schedule an appointment online today.