All you Need to Know
Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a serious disease affecting millions of Americans. Poorly controlled diabetes leads to injury of the kidneys, heart, and nervous system, including the brain. It is crucial that diabetics manage their blood sugar to stay healthy. The experienced health care team at Charter Health PC helps patients with education and treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. To help you achieve your healthiest self, request your appointment online, or call us at our office at 978-354-4611.
What is diabetes and how common is it?
Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a chronic disease in which the body is not able to process glucose (sugar) normally. High levels of glucose in our bloodstream over time damage the blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and heart.
There are two types, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 2 is a common problem in the United States affecting an estimated 34 million Americans or about 10% of the population. Type 1 is far less common affecting approximately 1.5 million Americans.
It can be well controlled and those living with this disease can live long and healthy lives. Charter Health’s team provides expert diabetes education and treatment and will be a reliable partner as we manage the challenges they may face. Please call us today at 978-354-4611.
Glucose and Insulin’s Role in Type 2 diabetes
The sugar glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin’s job is to get glucose inside the body’s cells where glucose is converted into energy. In type 2 diabetes the body’s cells are partially resistant to insulin resulting in less glucose being taken up into the cells and high glucose levels in the blood.
Type 2 is preventable through regular exercise and proper diet. In some cases, Type 2 is curable with aggressive lifestyle changes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 occurs when a person’s pancreas can no longer produce insulin. Without insulin, the body’s cells are unable to take in the glucose and this leads to very high levels of glucose in the blood. Most cases of Type 1 occur in childhood or adolescence. The cause is a viral infection that leads to the person’s immune system to destroy the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (islet cells). People with type 1 require daily insulin injections to live.
Prediabetes is a condition in which you have elevated blood sugar but it is not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. With the right lifestyle interventions, most notably exercise and weight loss, the prediabetic can avoid developing full-blown diabetes.
What is the treatment?
Treatment depends on the type and severity of your diabetes. All Type 1’s require replacement insulin. The most common way to get insulin is through daily self-administered injections. Another option is an insulin pump, a battery-powered medical device that delivers a consistent insulin dose directly into your body.
For some type 2 diabetics, careful dietary changes and daily exercise might be enough to successfully regulate your blood sugar. Many with type 2 need oral medications and some need insulin.
With both types 1 and 2, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are essential to managing the disease successfully.
Please call Charter Health today at 978-354-4611, for the support you need for diabetes care and overall long-term health.