Diabetes is a known risk factor for many of the diseases our Premier Surgical Associates physicians in Knoxville and Cleveland treat. Diabetes also contributes to many vascular conditions, including retinopathy and nephropathy.
What is diabetes and who gets it?
Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that result from having too much sugar or glucose in the blood.
Glucose is our body’s main source of energy and it comes from the food that we eat. To get glucose from the food to the cells, a hormone called insulin is released by the pancreas. So when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or when the body doesn’t respond to insulin well, glucose remains in the blood, depriving cells of the energy they need.
There are three different types of diabetes: type 1 or juvenile diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the pancreas, affecting the production of insulin.
Gestational diabetes is the type of diabetes affecting pregnant women.
Type 2 diabetes is the type of diabetes that usually affects overweight and sedentary individuals. Unlike type 1 diabetes, a person with type 2 diabetes has enough insulin but his/her body develops resistance to it.
What are the signs and symptoms to watch out for?
If you experience any of the following, it’s important to see a specialist immediately:
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Extreme hunger even when you’re eating
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bruises and cuts that heal slowly
- Blurry vision
How is diabetes treated?
Diabetes is managed through insulin therapy, regular blood sugar monitoring, diet, and exercise.
When left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to several health problems including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, dental disease, nerve damage, and foot problems. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to limb damage and loss.
Premier Surgical Associates urges you to be aware of the signs of diabetes and if you suspect that you may have it, talk to your physician about how to best manage your condition.
To request an appointment with any of our Premier surgeons in Knoxville or Cleveland, TN, visit our Appointments page at https://www.premiersurgical.com/request-appointment/.