Diabetes is a complicated disease affecting nearly 30 million people in the US. But though the condition can have a significant impact on your health, it is manageable. Webster, TX internist Dr. Janis Fowler-Gulde offers a variety of services to help people living with diabetes maintain active and fulfilling lives.
Diabetes happens when your body has a hard time controlling the amount of sugar in your blood. Most of the time, this leads to blood sugar levels that are too high (a condition known as hyperglycemia).
There are two main types of diabetes. With type I diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin (which is a hormone that is important for the regulation of blood sugar). People are born with type I diabetes and are almost always diagnosed when they are still children.
The more common type of diabetes is type II diabetes. In this case, the pancreas is able to produce enough insulin (at least initially), but the body begins to build up a resistant to it. This is caused by both genetic predisposition and certain lifestyle factors, such as eating too many sugary or highly processed foods. To overcome the resistance, the pancreas will try to produce even more insulin, but over time it can't maintain the excessive production and may actually stop making insulin.
Diabetes can cause a variety of symptoms that may alert you that something is wrong. If you notice any of the following signs, be sure to consult with your doctor:
Advanced stages and poorly controlled diabetes can lead to more severe symptoms, including a medical emergency known as diabetic ketoacidosis (which presents with fruity-smelling breath, abdominal pain, weakness, confusion, and loss of consciousness).
A doctor can diagnose diabetes via a blood test which measures your fasting blood sugar level (which means the blood is tested when you haven't eaten anything for at least 8 hours before the test). A fasting blood sugar level of 126 or higher is considered a positive test for diabetes.
Even with treatment, diabetes can still directly cause or increase your risk for a variety of problems including highly fluctuating blood sugar levels, nerve damage, blindness, limb loss, dry skin, vision loss, and stroke. Taking steps to manage your blood sugar better and practicing healthy lifestyle habits on a consistent basis will greatly reduce your chances of diabetic complications. Dr. Fowler-Gulde works with hundreds of patients every year living with diabetes and strives to support each one with individualized, compassionate treatment, which may include:
Webster Clinic works with most major insurances. If you have any questions, please call our office and one of our knowledgeable staff members would be happy to help.