What do you think of when you hear Diabetes? Most of the time, my patients tell me that it is a condition “of uncontrolled sugars in your blood” and then they list some jargon that is associated with the disease such as “fasting sugar, glucometer, and insulin”. Yes, these are correct, but now with more research we are finding it easier to manage and control Diabetes. Another common question that I often get is, “Why are you so passionate about this topic?”. This topic is near and dear to me because my father suffered from Type II Diabetes. I have witnessed first hand the ups/downs of the condition and now make it my goal to bring awareness to patients of all ages about Diabetes.
What is it?
According to the CDC, Diabetes affects nearly “34.2 million people (nearly 10.5% of the US population)”. The foods you eat are broken down into simple sugars called glucose and then released into your bloodstream. The glucose in your bloodstream serves as energy for your bodily organs to function properly. A normal response when your glucose goes up is for your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin lowers your sugar by introducing the blood glucose into the body cells for energy storage. For diabetics, this system of checks and balances is dysfunctional because either the pancreas cells are attacked by your immune system (Type I Diabetes) or your body is not responding to the insulin made (Type II Diabetes). Due to this, your blood glucose remains severely elevated in your bloodstream.
What are common symptoms of Diabetes?
- Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night
- Are very thirsty
- Lose weight without trying
- Are very hungry
- Have blurry vision
- Have numb or tingling hands or feet
- Feel very tired
- Have very dry skin
- Have sores that heal slowly
- Have more infections than usual
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have questions about Diabetes, please book an appointment with your primary care physician.
Dr. Hannah Do, M.D.
Board Certified Family Medicine Physician