According to the American Diabetes Association, about 30.3 million Americans had diabetes in 2015 and 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. The family practice clinicians at The Family Practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado, provide comprehensive care for patients seeking to help prevent diabetes or control their disease if they already have it. If you’re concerned about diabetes, call or book your appointment online today.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

When you have diabetes, your body has a hard time processing and controlling the glucose (sugar) levels in your blood. While glucose provides your body with energy, it needs a hormone made by your pancreas called insulin to shuttle the glucose into your body’s cells for energy. When the glucose levels in your blood are too high, it’s called diabetes.

There are two different types of diabetes:

Type 1:
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body destroys the cells responsible for making insulin. Because of this, you’ll require insulin injections to break down the glucose in your blood.

Type 2:
In type 2 diabetes, your body produces insulin; however, your body’s cells become resistant to it. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented since it’s attributed to being overweight, inactive, or having a genetic predisposition.

If diabetes isn’t properly managed, it can lead to limb amputation, heart attack, kidney failure, or blindness.

How is diabetes diagnosed?

The fasting plasma glucose test checks your fasting blood glucose levels. If your fasting plasma glucose is less than 100 mg/dl, then your result is normal. If it’s 100 to 125 mg/dl, then you have prediabetes. A glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher is diabetes. The clinician will have patients repeat this blood sugar test to confirm the diagnosis on another day.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

The symptoms for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can differ.

Symptoms for Type 1 diabetes can appear relatively quickly and include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Extreme hunger

Symptoms for Type 2 diabetes can often develop slowly and include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a consultation with the practice today to avoid any potential physical ailments diabetes may cause your body.

How can I prevent diabetes?

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, the practice recommends the following to help prevent Type 2 diabetes:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthily
  • Maintain an ideal weight

A few lifestyle changes can greatly reduce or eliminate your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

If you believe you may be at risk for diabetes, call The Family Practice today or schedule your appointment online.