Diabetes prohibits your body from efficiently turning glucose, or sugar, into energy for your cells.
In a healthy body, this occurs when your pancreas releases the hormone insulin, which allows sugar to leave the bloodstream and enter cells. That feeds the cells and lowers your blood glucose levels.
When this system fails, your cells begin to starve, and sugars build up in your blood, causing a range of symptoms. Although every patient’s experience is unique, some of the most common diabetes symptoms include:
If left untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney damage, and neuropathy.
There are two different types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
Doctors often diagnose type 1 diabetes during childhood, and its cause is unknown. For some reason, the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Without enough insulin, blood sugar builds and begins to impact your organs and body systems.
Type 2 diabetes, which doctors often diagnose in middle-aged or older adults, occurs when your cells don’t react to insulin appropriately. They don’t absorb the glucose in your blood, allowing it to accumulate. Because of this insulin resistance, cells starve and, like with type 1 diabetes, your organs and their systems are affected.
The underlying cause of type 2 diabetes is unclear, although specific factors can increase your risk, including:
The type of diabetes you have determines your course of treatment. If you have type 1 diabetes, Dr. Souidi prescribes daily insulin injections. In some cases, he pairs them with oral or topical medications to help reduce symptoms.
For type 2 diabetes, Dr. Souidi takes a multi-treatment approach. He counsels you on lifestyle changes that can improve your condition, such as:
He may also use medications to stabilize your blood sugar and make your cells more receptive to insulin. Medications can also be used to protect your organs from damage caused by diabetes.
If you’re at risk for developing diabetes, contact a board-certified internist. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Souidi online or call the office today.