Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects more than 30 million Americans. It’s characterized by high blood sugar levels, permanent nerve damage, and slow healing wounds. At Total Family Medical in Robert, Louisiana, the primary care specialists diagnose and treat Type 1, Type 2, gestational, and prediabetes. Book an in-person or telemedicine appointment at Total Family Medical by calling the office or booking online today.
Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect the way your pancreas produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating your blood sugar levels. If your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or it stops producing insulin altogether, it increases your risk of serious health problems, including a heart attack or stroke.
Total Family Medical diagnoses and treats all types of diabetes, including:
Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are consistently high but not high enough to be diabetes. When prediabetes is caught early on, it’s possible to reverse through healthy lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin, allowing glucose to build up in your bloodstream. There’s no cure for Type 1 diabetes, but it’s possible to manage with healthy lifestyle changes and insulin therapy.
Type 2 diabetes causes your cells to become resistant to insulin. This resistance prevents your body from utilizing glucose normally, causing it to build up in your bloodstream. There’s no cure for Type 2 diabetes, but it’s possible to manage with prescription medication, healthy lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, insulin therapy.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. As your baby grows, your body releases hormones to protect the fetus. Experts aren’t sure why, but these additional hormones can affect the way your body regulates blood sugar. In the majority of cases, gestational diabetes resolves after giving birth.
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
If you have diabetes, you might also develop frequent infections, including rashes, gum disease, or urinary tract infections (UTIs).
To diagnose diabetes, your provider at Total Family Medical conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks questions about your symptoms and lifestyle.
They then order a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. An A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past several months. If you receive two or more tests with a reading of 6.5% or higher, it means you have diabetes.
If your A1C test results aren’t consistent, Total Family Medical might recommend additional tests, including a fasting or random blood sugar test or an oral glucose tolerance test.
Treatment of diabetes depends on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying type. No matter the type of diabetes you have, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar on a daily basis, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
If you have Type 1 diabetes, you must participate in insulin therapy. You receive insulin therapy via routine injections or an implantable pump.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, you might benefit from oral medications that stimulate your pancreas to produce and release more insulin or insulin therapy. You may also be able to manage Type 2 diabetes through your diet.
To receive treatment for diabetes, request a consultation at Total Family Medical. Book an in-person or telemedicine appointment with the online scheduling tool or call the office today.