While over 30 million Americans have diabetes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that another 84 million have prediabetes. At his practice in Tamarac, Florida, Gus Armenakis, MD, a board-certified primary care physician, offers expert diagnosis and personalized treatment plans to help you control your diabetes and maintain a healthy and active life. If you’re concerned about diabetes or are looking for an attentive primary care physician, call Dr. Armenakis or schedule a consultation online today.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin correctly to convert blood sugar — glucose — into energy.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes develops when your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin and is also known as juvenile diabetes because it usually emerges in childhood. Type 2 diabetes is called insulin resistance because it develops when your body doesn’t use insulin correctly.
Additionally, some women develop gestational diabetes during their second trimester of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, but can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Each type of diabetes has different contributing factors. For example, Type 1 diabetes develops because of an autoimmune disorder that destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Medical researchers believe the condition is genetic and that certain viruses could trigger the disease.
Type 2 diabetes also has genetic risk factors, but your lifestyle has a significant impact on your risk of developing the disease. For example, if you’re overweight or obese, lead a sedentary lifestyle, and eat a diet that’s full of sugar, salt, and preservatives, your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes increases.
Gestational diabetes is triggered by a hormone produced by the placenta, which can interfere with the way your body uses insulin.
The first step in identifying diabetes is usually a blood test that reveals elevated glucose levels. If you have elevated blood sugar, Dr. Armenakis orders additional blood tests and may recommend a glucose challenge test to see how efficiently your body converts glucose into energy.
If you have Type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin every day to make up for what your body doesn’t produce. However, if you have prediabetes, mild Type 2 diabetes, or gestational, you might be able to manage your condition by adjusting your diet and adding exercise to your daily routine. Even a brisk half-hour walk after a meal can help you regulate your blood sugar levels more efficiently.
However, if lifestyle changes aren’t enough to regulate Type 2 or gestational diabetes, you might need to take insulin or other medication to control your condition.
Call Dr. Armenakis or make an appointment online today if you’re concerned about diabetes.