There are two primary types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is necessary for managing blood sugar, or glucose.
When the insulin-producing cells are destroyed, the body is no longer capable of producing enough (or any) insulin to keep glucose levels in check. Most patients with Type 1 diabetes develop it at a very early age.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease that develops because the body is unable to process and use insulin effectively. Type 2 diabetes occurs most commonly in patients who are overweight, and, although it’s more common among adults, rising rates of childhood obesity have resulted in a higher prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among kids as well.
A third type of diabetes, called gestational diabetes, can develop during pregnancy.
Patients with diabetes can have different symptoms depending on which type is present. Diabetes symptoms can be difficult to identify in their early stages, which is why having regular glucose tests is important. When symptoms do occur, they can include:
Diabetes can cause serious and life-threatening complications, including kidney damage and failure, blindness, and permanent nerve damage, which sometimes leads to the need for foot or lower-leg amputations.
Diabetes is diagnosed with a simple blood test to measure blood sugar levels. Urine tests are also frequently performed.
Once diabetes is diagnosed, Dr. Batlle will work closely with each patient to help them manage their condition with insulin and lifestyle changes. Regular office visits help ensure treatment remains optimized and effective as the patient’s needs change over time.
The most important thing a diabetic can do to prevent complications is to check glucose levels and keep them under control. Keeping blood sugar levels in check means following a healthy diet, losing excess weight, being physically active, avoiding alcohol, and using insulin as needed.
Seeing Dr. Batlle on a regular basis for checkups and glucose testing is also very important for staying healthy. Men and women at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes can reduce their chances of developing the disease by following the same guidelines.
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