Diabetes is a term used to describe a group of chronic diseases characterized by high blood glucose (sugar).
Everyone needs blood sugar to survive. It provides energy for the muscles and tissues throughout the body and promotes brain function. However, if your blood sugar levels are too high for an extended period of time, it can lead to serious health problems.
Although there’s no cure for diabetes, healthy lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, weight loss, and eating a nutritious diet can help keep your blood sugar levels in check. If you’re concerned about your risk of diabetes, don’t wait to seek professional medical help.
There are several types of diabetes, including:
If you have Type 1 or juvenile diabetes, it means your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone responsible for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. People with Type 1 diabetes must participate in insulin therapy.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, you’re insulin resistant. Your pancreas produces insulin, but your body doesn’t use it effectively. Scientists aren’t sure why some people develop insulin resistance, but it’s thought lifestyle factors such as weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle play a role.
Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women. During pregnancy, your body releases hormones to protect the growing fetus. These hormones may trigger insulin resistance. Usually, gestational diabetes resolves on its own after giving birth.
To diagnose diabetes, your Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine provider conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you questions about your symptoms.
They also order a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. An A1C test is a blood test that doesn’t require fasting. It measures your average blood sugar levels for the past two or three months. If your A1C level is 6.5% or higher on two or more tests, it means you have diabetes.
The caring providers at Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of diabetes.
Usually, they recommend conservative, holistic measures to improve your blood sugar levels naturally. This includes exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, managing your stress levels, and eating a healthy, nutritious diet. Following an exam, your provider develops a custom diet plan that aligns with your goals and lifestyle.
If you have Type 1 diabetes, you’ll also need to participate in insulin therapy.
To learn more about managing your diabetes, request an appointment at Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine today by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool.