Diabetes is a chronic disease that needs medical management. If left uncontrolled, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious and long-term health complications, including heart disease and premature death.
At Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic, the skilled practitioners offer comprehensive care for diabetes through their chronic disease management services. They tailor care plans to meet your existing health needs and to prevent ongoing complications.
An overview of diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body processes glucose (sugar) you get from the food you eat. When you’re healthy, your body produces the hormone insulin to regulate the levels of sugar in your blood. Insulin helps to convert sugar into the energy you need to function. If you have diabetes, these processes don’t work properly.
There are several types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a condition that occurs when your body can’t produce the insulin hormone. This may be due to disorders that cause your immune system to mistakenly attack the pancreas, the organ that makes insulin.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when your body can’t make enough insulin to convert sugar into energy or doesn’t use the insulin it makes effectively.
Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels remain high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
For pregnant women, gestational diabetes can be a concern. This condition can develop any time during a pregnancy, but usually resolves after the baby is born.
Understanding your risk for diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood but can occur in adulthood. Your genetic history plays a role in the development of Type 1 diabetes. Environmental factors may also contribute to this disease, but the specific factors remain unknown.
There are multiple risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. While your family history can increase your risk for developing this type of diabetes, your lifestyle also plays a large part in both Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Some of the most common risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes include:
- Poor diet
- Inactive lifestyle
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
Women may be at increased risk for Type 2 diabetes if they have underlying conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or if they had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy.
How to prevent complications of diabetes
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a variety of chronic health conditions that impact your quality of life and your long-term health. The most common complications that can arise from chronically high blood sugar levels include:
- Vision loss
- Nerve damage (neuropathy)
- Kidney damage
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic skin conditions
You may also be at increased risk for developing ongoing foot complications because of nerve damage in your feet that results from diabetes. Some people may also experience foot damage so severe, they require amputation of their toes, foot, or leg.
To cut your risk for additional health complications due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels, you need to follow the treatment plan recommended by the physicians at Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic.
Treatment options for diabetes
If you’re a Type 1 diabetic, you’ll need daily insulin to keep your sugar levels under control. Type 2 diabetics and those with prediabetes may be able to control their condition with lifestyle changes. If these changes aren’t enough, medications may also be necessary to reduce long-term health risks.
Everyone with diabetes needs to be mindful of their diet, reducing their intake of carbohydrates and sugar. The team at Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic can also provide you with the resources you need to monitor your blood sugar levels several times a day at home.
In addition, routine health checks with the medical team are important to ensure your condition is well-controlled.
If you have a family history or other risk factors for diabetes, schedule a routine diabetes screening by calling Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic, by requesting an appointment online, or by visiting the clinic as a walk-in today.