Your Diabetes Guide: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

To give you an idea of the clear and present danger that diabetes poses, more than 30 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes in a given year, and 84 million more are considered prediabetic. These eye-opening numbers paint a very clear picture of the prevalence of this chronic condition, but there’s also hope to be found in them. If you’re prediabetic, there are some steps you can take to avoid a diagnosis altogether, and we believe that education is key in this endeavor.

At High Point Medical Clinic, Dr. Linda J. Morgan-Evans and our team are passionate about partnering with our St. Robert, Missouri, patients for better health. To that end, we’ve pulled together the following guide to help you better manage your diabetes, or keep it at bay.

Diabetes 101

There are many types of diabetes, but the bottom line with each is that your body isn’t able to control the glucose levels in your blood. Under normal circumstances, your body relies on glucose, or blood sugar, for fuel, and any excess is cleared out of your bloodstream by the hormone insulin.

With Type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate the levels of sugar in your blood. With Type 2 diabetes, your body has built up a resistance to insulin and/or it doesn’t produce enough of the hormone to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

There are less common forms of diabetes, such as gestational diabetes, but we’re going to focus on Type 2 diabetes in this blog since the lion’s share of diagnoses falls under this category.

Why it’s dangerous

Now here’s where we get to the frightening aspects of diabetes, which we need to underscore because this disease requires vigilance and expert management to prevent the serious complications that can develop on the heels of glucose buildup in your bloodstream.

The most common problems associated with diabetes include:

And when we say common problems, we’re not exaggerating. Approximately half of all diabetics have some form of neuropathy or nerve damage, and the consequences can be grave, sometimes leading to amputation or vision loss.

Know your risks

One of the more frustrating aspects of Type 2 diabetes is that there generally aren’t any obvious outward symptoms, especially in its prediabetic stages. Any symptoms you do encounter, such as slow-healing sores or excessive thirst, usually mean that you’ve already developed diabetes.

We feel it may be more important, and useful, to know your risk factors and your numbers so you can take steps to avoid a diabetes diagnosis in the first place.

When it comes to Type 2 diabetes, we’re not going to sidestep the primary reasons why so many Americans are developing this systemic and insidious disease, which include:

Of course, there are other risk factors, which are largely beyond your control, such as genetics and race, but the rising numbers in diabetes diagnoses can be tied back to an increasingly overweight and sedentary population.

Get help

While our goal here isn’t to frighten you unnecessarily, we feel it’s important to arm you with the facts surrounding diabetes so we can help you take charge of your health.

One of the first and most important steps you can take is to keep up with your annual wellness visits with us so we can keep an eye on your blood glucose levels and take preventive action.

The extremely high number of people who fall into prediabetes have a chance to reverse the disease before it becomes full-blown diabetes, and we love to seize upon these opportunities. We’ll help steer you away from diabetes through some key lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, exercise, and nutritional counseling.

If you have developed Type 2 diabetes, or you have another form of the disease (Type 1 or gestational), rest assured that we have the experience and knowledge to help you better manage the condition so you can lead a healthy, happy life long into the future. Through blood sugar regulation and vigilant oversight of your disease, we can minimize the impact of diabetes on your life.

To learn more about the many ways you can prevent or manage diabetes, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

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