Millions of men, women, and children suffer from diabetes, a chronic disease that requires ongoing management to avoid serious complications. Dr. Shalin Parikh is a top-rated provider of diabetes care in Irving, Texas, offering state-of-the-art treatment for patients of all ages at Health One Family Medicine.
Diabetes can be divided into two main types:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that develops when the immune system malfunctions and attacks healthy cells that produce insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar or glucose.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease that interferes with the body's ability to use and process insulin, allowing glucose levels to increase.
Type 1 diabetes typically begins in childhood, while type 2 diabetes is more common among adults who are overweight and obese. Rising rates of childhood obesity have resulted in an increase in type 2 diabetes among children as well. Without ongoing management, diabetes can result in blindness, limb amputation, kidney damage and kidney failure and other serious issues.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes need to have special medical care during pregnancy to reduce the risk of complications.
The symptoms of diabetes can vary to some degree depending on whether type 1 or type 2 diabetes is present. In general, symptoms can include:
increased need to urinate
nerve damage and symptoms like tingling, shooting pain, or numbness, usually in the feet
sores that take a long time to heal
Diabetes can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. Regular screening for diabetes is recommended for people with high blood pressure and other risk factors including a family history of the disease. Blood tests performed for routine annual physicals typically include a simple glucose test as well.
Diabetes requires ongoing management to keep blood sugar levels within normal ranges. Treatment typically includes lifestyle changes like losing excess weight, being more physically active, and adhering to a special diet to reduce the amount of sugars that are consumed. Most patients with diabetes will need to take insulin tablets or injections on a daily basis to keep glucose levels under control, and regular testing of glucose throughout the day will also be required.