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Diabetes Management

Diabetes Management

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious systemic illness that affects how your body turns glucose (sugar) from your diet into energy. There are two different types of the disease:

Type 1 diabetes

This form of diabetes develops when the pancreas stops producing insulin — the hormone that helps glucose enter your cells where it’s converted into energy. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream. Although you can develop type 1 diabetes at any time in life, it usually emerges during childhood.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable, accounts for up to 95% of all diabetes cases. It occurs when your pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with demand, or when your body becomes insulin resistant, meaning it no longer responds normally to insulin.

What’s prediabetes?

There are two precursor stages to type 2 diabetes — insulin resistance leading to prediabetes. If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are high, but not yet high enough for you to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
While just under 30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, over 84 million Americans — or more than one in three adults — have prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, making certain lifestyle changes can help you keep your condition under control and delay its progression.

Am I at risk for type 2 diabetes?

While being diagnosed with insulin resistance or prediabetes are the most significant risk factors for type 2 diabetes, a range of other risk factors can boost your chances of developing the disease, including:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Chronically high blood pressure
  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels

Your type 2 diabetes risk increases as you age, especially once you reach your mid-forties. The disease is also more prevalent among people of Hispanic, African, and Native American descent.

How can I control my diabetes?

Early diagnosis and intervention are key when it comes to controlling diabetes, avoiding complications, and maintaining a high quality of life.

To keep your blood sugar levels in check if you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, you should:

  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Get regular exercise
  • Take your diabetes medications
  • Lose excess body weight
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Manage chronic stress

If you have type 1 diabetes, it’s vitally important to administer your insulin shots (or wear your insulin pump) as instructed and check your blood sugar levels regularly. Healthy lifestyle habits are also highly beneficial.

Dr. Gulbis and the medical team strive to stay up to date on the latest recommendations in diabetes care and control. They are dedicated to empowering you with the information, skills, and support you need to make healthy choices every day.