According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 37 million Americans are living with diabetes, and nearly one-quarter of those have no idea they have the condition. For residents of Wilmington, North Carolina, Umar Bowers, MD, Tiffany Bowers, FNP-C, and Sandy Taylor, FNP-C, of Dawson Med offer top-quality diabetes screening and management. Call or click today to schedule a visit.
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which your body is unable to properly convert food into energy. To understand diabetes, it helps to think about how nutrients make their way into your cells.
When you eat, a portion of that food is converted into a type of sugar called glucose, which acts as a type of fuel. Glucose enters your bloodstream and travels to cells throughout your body. In order for glucose to gain access through the cell walls, however, a special hormone called insulin is necessary.
Insulin is manufactured in your pancreas. Without adequate levels, your cells can’t get the fuel they need to thrive, and glucose builds up in your bloodstream.
People with Type 1 diabetes have an autoimmune condition that prevents their pancreas from creating insulin. Without supplemental insulin, this form of diabetes is deadly.
By far the more common type of diabetes, people with Type 2 diabetes either can’t make enough insulin or can’t make proper use of the insulin that is produced. This form of diabetes is linked to lifestyle choices such as being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle.
There are also less common forms of diabetes, including a type that sometimes develops during pregnancy and usually clears up after childbirth.
Diabetes places an enormous strain on virtually all of your organs and systems. Some of the health issues clearly linked to diabetes include:
These are just some of the health problems you can face if you develop diabetes and don’t take action to manage the condition.
No two people share the exact same experience with diabetes, which is why treatment is also highly personalized. Supplemental insulin is a common treatment for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Synthetic insulin can be administered via injection, through an implanted pump, or an injection pen.
There are also medications that can help manage diabetes. Some drugs work to make your tissues more sensitive to insulin, while others prompt your pancreas to make and release more insulin. There are also options that change the way your liver produces and releases glucose. It often takes a combination of medications to achieve the best possible results.
Making meaningful changes to your lifestyle is an excellent way to manage diabetes. Embracing a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins is important, as is making time to get plenty of exercise. If you’re overweight or obese, medical weight loss is a great way to lower your blood sugar and feel your best each and every day.
If you’d like to learn more about how to prevent, screen for, or manage diabetes, call the office to book a visit, or schedule online in just a matter of moments.