When you have diabetes, keeping it under control is crucial. Otherwise, you risk developing heart problems, kidney problems, nerve damage, and other health issues. At Family Medicine Austin, our diabetes doctors provide men and women in Austin, Texas, with the education they need to manage blood sugar levels regularly and reduce the risk of health complications.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic condition that results when the pancreas fails to secrete adequate insulin or the body fails to use it effectively.
The pancreas produces the hormone insulin. It plays a key role because it enables glucose derived from the food to enter the body’s cells. Glucose is produced in the body from the digestion of foods high in carbohydrate content. Insulin makes it easier for cells to take in glucose.
Blood sugar levels increase (hyperglycemia) when insufficient insulin is produced or when insulin is not utilized effectively. Several organs and tissues can perish if blood glucose levels remain elevated for an extended time.
What are the Warning Signs of Diabetes?
Catching diabetes early gives you a better chance of avoiding complications. What is the best way to know if you have this disease? Watch for common symptoms of diabetes and make an appointment for testing if you have any.
You might have diabetes if you’re thirstier than usual and need to use the bathroom more often to urinate. If you feel hungrier than usual or lose weight without trying to, you might have type 2 diabetes. Other common signs you might experience include:
- Persistent fatigue
- Feeling irritable
- Having blurry vision
What Causes Diabetes?
When you have type 2 diabetes, which is more common than type 1 diabetes, there’s a problem with how your body handles insulin. Insulin typically moves glucose, or sugar, into your cells for energy. With type 2 diabetes, your cells resist this process, which causes glucose to build up in your bloodstream. Increased glucose levels in your blood can lead to a wide range of health issues affecting your organs, nerves, and other parts of your body.
Who’s at Risk of Developing Diabetes?
Anyone can get type 2 diabetes, but some patients have a higher risk of it than others. If you’re overweight or spend most of your time sitting rather than being active, you have a greater risk of diabetes. Your risk is also higher if diabetes runs in your family or you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Other risk factors include having gestational diabetes during pregnancy, being older, and having polycystic ovary syndrome.
Our highly trained medical staff might recommend having diabetes testing done if you have one or more of these risk factors.
What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
Due to the slow worsening of the illness over several years, you may or may not detect any symptoms. The symptoms manifest in adulthood. The more severe a person’s diabetic symptoms, the higher their blood sugar level. Type 1 diabetes is distinct in that its symptoms manifest more rapidly and are more severe.
The symptoms include:
- Excessive thirst and hunger
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Blurry vision
- Mood swings or irritability
- Slow-healing wounds
- Increased chances of getting infections
How can you Manage Diabetic Symptoms?
If you have high blood sugar levels, taking insulin injections helps you lower them. Whether or not you need them and how often you need them depends on how well you manage diabetes through other means, such as diet and exercise.
You can maintain healthy blood sugar levels by regular physical activity and cutting back on processed and sugary foods while also eating more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. If you need help managing your conditions, we will happily provide you with education on diabetes so you can manage it efficiently.
How Does Family Medicine Austin Diagnose Diabetes?
A blood test is used for diagnosing and treating diabetes by determining the glucose level in the patient’s blood. Family Medicine Austin provides different diagnostic tests, including the HbA1c, random, and fasting glucose tests.
- A fasting plasma glucose test is performed in the morning after an eight-hour fast.
- Random plasma glucose tests can be performed at any time, and the patient is not required to fast.
- The HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test reveals your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. The test examines the amount of glucose linked to hemoglobin, the oxygen-transporting protein in red blood cells. You don’t need to do overnight fasting before the test.
- An oral glucose tolerance test determines the amount of glucose in the blood following a 12-hour fast. The patient then consumes glucose, and the blood sugar levels are measured again at hours 1, 2, and 3.
What Treatments are Available?
People with diabetes can typically manage their illness by modifying their lifestyle, closely monitoring their blood sugar levels, and taking oral diabetic medicines, insulin, or both.
People with type 1 diabetes must need insulin therapy to survive. Most individuals with type 2 diabetes also require insulin therapy.
The doctor may also prescribe oral or intravenous medications. Several diabetic treatments stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. Others prevent the body from producing glucose and releasing it from the liver. Less insulin is required to transport sugar into the body’s cells.
Others decrease carbohydrate absorption by preventing digestive tract or stomach enzymes from executing their task of breaking down carbohydrates or by increasing insulin sensitivity in cells.
Diabetes Testing and Symptom Management in Austin, Texas!
Diabetes doctor provides comprehensive care for diabetics, including a weight loss program, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring, and diabetes education. Diabetes specialists at Family Medicine Austin treat diabetes with a patient-centered approach. We assist our patients in taking responsibility for their health by acting as advisers and creating individualized treatment regimens.
Our physicians and medical professionals have extensive knowledge of diabetes. Every staff member is up-to-date on the most recent information regarding treatment options, such as food, lifestyle, and other non-traditional treatments. There are currently numerous new diabetic therapies on the market, and our staff is constantly looking for them.
Book your appointment with Family Medicine Austin if you need diabetic testing or assistance managing your glucose levels.