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Diabetes

Family Medical Home

Family Medicine Physicians located in San Antonio, TX

More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fortunately, the disease can be managed when treated properly. At Family Medical Home, which has two locations in San Antonio, Texas, a team of primary care providers works together to provide comprehensive diabetes care to all of their patients. To schedule an appointment with Family Medical Home, call or book a visit online today.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which your blood glucose — the sugar in your blood — is too high to be used effectively. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps convert your blood sugar into energy that your body can use.

If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough natural insulin or doesn’t use it properly, so the glucose in your blood never reaches your cells. Too much glucose in your blood can lead to a number of health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, and vision problems.


Are there different types of diabetes?

There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

Your body doesn’t make its own insulin if you have type 1 diabetes. Instead, your immune system attacks the cells in your pancreas that make insulin before it can be used. While most people have had type 1 diabetes since childhood, it can develop at any age.

Type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, then your body isn’t using its insulin effectively. The most common form of the disease, type 2 diabetes can develop at any age — though it’s more common in middle age — and is often tied to weight, diet, and activity levels.

Gestational diabetes

In most cases, gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and disappears once the baby is born. However, it can raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have many of the same telltale warning signs, such as:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy skin
  • Increased hunger
  • Blurred vision

Some of the most common type 1 diabetes symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Bedwetting (in children)

The most common type 2 diabetes symptoms are:

  • Weight gain
  • Frequent yeast infections
  • Dark armpit, groin, or neck skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Numbness in the hands or feet

Most women with gestational diabetes experience no symptoms at all, though you may have to urinate more often than normal.

How is diabetes treated?

Your diabetes treatment depends on the type you have. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will likely need to use an insulin pump or take regular insulin injections. For type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes, Family Medical Home can recommend a number of lifestyle changes.

Some common treatments for all types of diabetes include:

Blood sugar monitoring

No matter which type of diabetes you have, regular blood sugar monitoring is crucial to ensuring you remain healthy. If you’re taking insulin, the Family Medical Home team may recommend checking your levels up to four times a day.

Lifestyle changes

Regular exercise and a healthy diet rich in vegetables, lean protein (fish, chicken breast, etc.), whole grains, and legumes can help control your blood sugar and lower your risk of diabetes complications. This is especially true if you have type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes. If you’re overweight, losing even 5% of your body weight can lower your blood sugar levels.

Medications

Certain medications can prompt your pancreas to create and release more insulin to control your blood sugar levels. Others prevent the release of glucose from your liver. There are many medications that can help manage diabetes and prevent future complications.

To learn more about diabetes, call Family Medical Home or book an appointment online.