Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects how our body uses blood sugar (glucose).

The body needs glucose. It is the cells’ primary source of energy. Without it, the tissues and muscles of the body won’t be able to carry out regular functions well.

What causes Diabetes?

The underlying cause of diabetes depends on the type.

Type 1 diabetes is usually linked to dysfunctional immune system. Instead of just attacking harmful bacteria and viruses, some of those with dysfunctional immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing hormones and cells.

Insulin is the hormone that carries the glucose into the cells. With little or no insulin, glucose can build up in the bloodstream.

Type 2 diabetes is usually a result of genetic and environmental factors. Having a family history of the condition and being obese puts you at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

As with gestational diabetes, it’s usually a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy (the placenta makes hormones that can lead to buildup of glucose in the bloodstream.

Regardless of the type, diabetes can lead to excess sugar in the blood. And having too much sugar in the blood can lead to serious health implications.


The most common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections
Health Consequences

When left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to a myriad of health problems including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, eye problems, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney failure, and limb amputation.

Kidney failure develops when kidney damage is left untreated. Dialysis is an option for diabetic 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.