Diabetes

Diabetes Specialist
Diabetes affects your blood sugar (glucose) levels, making you more likely to develop serious medical issues like blindness and kidney disease. But the good news is that with proper and ongoing management, you can prevent complications and lead a healthier life to boot. At his practice in New York City, internal medicine doctor Jose Batlle, MD, helps patients manage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and prevent complications with optimized insulin control, important health screenings, and lifestyle guidance. Having regular doctor’s visits is an important part of managing diabetes, and Dr. Batlle is committed to providing individual care focused on each patient’s needs.

Diabetes Q & A

by Jose E. Batlle, MD

What causes diabetes?

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.

What symptoms and complications are associated with diabetes?

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:

  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Itchy skin
  • Slow-to-heal sores
  • Nerve symptoms like numbness or shooting pains, especially in the feet

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.

How is diabetes diagnosed and treated?

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.

What can I do to reduce the risks associated with diabetes?

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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