November is American Diabetes Month. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes.

About Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood glucose (also known as your blood sugar) is too high. The blood glucose is the body’s main source of energy and it is transported into the cells through the hormone insulin. However, there are cases on which the body doesn’t make enough or any insulin at all. In some cases, the body doesn’t use insulin well. As a result, glucose remains in the blood and doesn’t reach the cells.

There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

In type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin. It’s an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Although it can appear at any age, it is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In order to stay alive, those with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin every day.

In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make use of insulin effectively. It’s the most common type of diabetes, usually diagnosed in middle-aged and older people. It is also common among obese people.


Signs and Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of diabetes include unexplained weight loss, fatigue, frequent urination, extreme hunger, increased or excessive thirst, irritability, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, and frequent infections


How Diabetes Can Affect Your Health

When left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to a myriad of health complications. It can take a toll on almost every organ of the body including the eyes, heart and the blood vessels, kidneys, nerves, gastrointestinal tract, and even the gums and the teeth.

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to vision loss, heart disease, loss of sensation in the lower extremities, gum disease, limb infections which can lead to amputation, and kidney disease.


Diabetes and Kidney Disease

When diabetes is left unmanaged, it may lead to diabetic kidney disease. Also known as diabetic nephropathy, this condition results from damage in the filters in the kidneys. Damage to the kidney’s’ filters can also result to accumulation of more salt, water, and waste material in the blood.

Kidney failure develops when kidney damage is left untreated. Dialysis is an option for patients with kidney failure. By removing excess salt, water, and wastes from the body, dialysis can help in keeping the body in balance.

Vascular access is an important passageway to the bloodstream created by a minor surgery to be used for dialysis. Premier Surgical Vascular Access Center in Knoxville provides exceptional care for Access patients and their families. Our highly trained vascular physicians and staff use state-of-the-art equipment and the latest in minimally invasive vascular access surgery techniques. We offer comprehensive on-site vascular diagnostic expertise and educational services to patients who are living with≠ kidney disease.

For more information about Premier Vascular Access Center, please visit our Access webpage.