Diabetes is a condition where the body either no longer produces insulin or does not properly respond to the insulin that it produces. Insulin is a hormone generated by the pancreas that promotes the absorption of glucose into the body’s cells for energy. When the body no longer responds to insulin, these cells starve for energy and the glucose levels in the blood increase, which can cause permanent damage to the body’s organs and its systems.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes, sometimes referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes,” occurs when the pancreas makes little to no insulin. It’s a chronic condition that often begins in childhood or adolescence and requires the individual to take daily insulin injections.
With type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body doesn't respond to it. People often develop type 2 diabetes in later adulthood, and it’s often affiliated with aging, obesity, and physical inactivity.
Dr. McDow, the internist at the McDow Medical Corporation, treats diabetes in a variety of ways, depending on each patient's condition and needs. If you have type 1 diabetes, Dr. McDow prescribes daily insulin injections and may recommend other medications to help protect the body’s organs from damage.
For type 2 diabetes, Dr. McDow’s recommendations depend on the severity of your diabetes and the symptoms you’re experiencing. For those in the early stages of the disease, he may recommend simple lifestyle changes to lower blood sugar levels. Developing healthy routines, such as eating a healthy diet that’s high in fiber and increasing physical activity to 30 minutes a day, are often enough to make type 2 diabetes symptoms manageable.
For other patients, these changes aren’t enough and medication may be necessary. Depending on your particular case, Dr. McDow may recommend a variety of medicines: Some that help your body produce more insulin and some that help your body use its available insulin more efficiently. Some medications reduce the amount of glucose in your blood, while others protect organs such as your kidneys.
If you have diabetes, it’s time to see a doctor with experience treating its symptoms. Contact Dr. McDow’s office today and get your diabetes under control.