While around 10% of Americans have diabetes, almost one-third have prediabetes. At Wilmington Adult Medicine, internal medicine physician Stephen Liederbach, MD, has extensive experience diagnosing and treating patients from in or around Wilmington, North Carolina, who have diabetes or prediabetes. His patient-focused approach to care can help you manage your glucose levels and reduce your risk of dangerous complications. Call or schedule a consultation online today for expert diabetes management.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects the way your body either produces or uses insulin. Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas that helps your body convert glucose into energy.
There are three common types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational.
Type 1 diabetes develops when an autoimmune condition destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. This form of the disease usually emerges during childhood and requires supplemental insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent type of the condition. It occurs when your body stops using insulin correctly and your glucose levels rise. Your body responds by producing more insulin, but eventually, it can’t keep up with your needs.
Some women develop gestational diabetes during the second trimester of pregnancy. The placenta releases a hormone that can interfere with insulin use. While the disease usually subsides soon after childbirth, it can increase your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes later on.
Prediabetes is a warning sign of your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Your body isn’t using insulin correctly, but your glucose levels aren’t high enough for a clinical diabetes diagnosis.
Diabetes can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
Diabetes and prediabetes can also develop without causing any noticeable symptoms. The best way to monitor your risk of diabetes is to have routine blood work during your annual physicals.
If your complete blood panel shows elevated glucose levels, Dr. Liederbach orders additional testing to check how your body processes glucose. Testing involves a simple blood test called an A1c.
Dr. Liederbach often begins by recommending changes to your diet and exercise habits. If you have prediabetes, early-stage Type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes, you might be able to control your condition with lifestyle changes.
However, if you have Type 1 diabetes or advanced Type 2 diabetes, you might need to take insulin every day and implement healthy lifestyle choices to manage your disease.
Unmanaged diabetes can lead to severe complications ranging from blindness to ulcers, gangrene, and amputation.
If you’re concerned about diabetes, call Wilmington Adult Medicine or make an appointment online today.