What Kind Of Doctor Treats Diabetes
Endocrinology is the specialty of medicine that deals with hormone disturbances, and both endocrinologists and pediatric endocrinologists manage patients with diabetes. People with diabetes may also be treated by family medicine or internal medicine specialists. When complications arise, people with diabetes may be treated by other specialists, including neurologists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, surgeons, cardiologists, or others.
Yellow Reddish Or Brown Patches On Your Skin
This skin condition often begins as small raised solid bumps that look like pimples. As it progresses, these bumps turn into patches of swollen and hard skin. The patches can be yellow, reddish, or brown.
You may also notice:
- The surrounding skin has a shiny porcelain-like appearance
- You can see blood vessels
- The skin is itchy and painful
- The skin disease goes through cycles where it is active, inactive, and then active again
- Get tested for diabetes, if you have not been diagnosed.
- Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes.
- See a dermatologist about your skin. Necorbiosis lipodica is harmless, but it can lead to complications.
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Checking Your Blood Sugar
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What Are The Complications Of Diabetes
If your blood glucose level remains high over a long period of time, your bodys tissues and organs can be seriously damaged. Some complications can be life-threatening over time.
- Dental problems.
Complications of gestational diabetes:
In the mother:Preeclampsia , risk of gestational diabetes during future pregnancies and risk of diabetes later in life.
In the newborn: Higher-than-normal birth weight, low blood sugar , higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over time and death shortly after birth.
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
Many people get tested for diabetes because they develop symptoms that are potential early warning signs.
For example, people with type 1 diabetes may experience unintentional weight loss or develop flu-like symptoms. People with type 2 diabetes may experience extreme thirst or frequent urination.
You may experience one or more of the warning signs associated with diabetes. If you do, its important to contact your doctor for an appointment.
You may also discover a diabetes diagnosis after visiting your doctor for another condition or for routine blood work.
If you make an appointment with your doctor due to diabetes warning signs, they will want to know:
- your symptoms
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and will likely run some blood tests.
There are several tests that can diagnose diabetes. These include:
- A1C: This test shows what your blood glucose level has averaged for the last 2 or 3 months. This does not require you to fast or drink anything.
- Fasting plasma glucose : You will need to fast for at least 8 hours before this test is done.
- Oral glucose tolerance : This test takes 2 to 3 hours. Your blood glucose levels are tested initially and then repeated at intervals for 2 hours after youve consumed a specific sweet drink.
- Random plasma glucose test: You can have this test done any time and do not need to be fasting.
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Why Is My Blood Glucose Level High How Does This Happen
The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various different nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates , your body breaks this down into sugar . When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help a “key” to get into its final destination where it’s used, which is inside your body’s cells . This help or “key” is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the key that unlocks the cell wall door, which allows glucose to enter your bodys cells. Glucose provides the fuel or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.
If you have diabetes:
- Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin or enough insulin.
- Your pancreas makes insulin but your bodys cells dont respond to it and cant use it as it normally should.
If glucose cant get into your bodys cells, it stays in your bloodstream and your blood glucose level rises.
What Should My Blood Glucose Level Be
Ask your healthcare team what your blood glucose level should be. They may have a specific target range for you. In general, though, most people try to keep their blood glucose levels at these targets:
- Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
- About two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.
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At Home Diabetic Test: Blood Test
The easiest and most accurate at home test for diabetes is a blood sugar test. Blood sugar meters usually come with a small amount of test strips, as well as a lancing device. It is important to follow the directions included with the meter. Also, before testing your blood sugar, it is important to wash your hands first to eliminate any sugar residue, which could alter the readings. Normal fasting blood sugar should be between 70-130 mg/dl. If testing within two hours of eating, then the results should be less than 180 mg/dl.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors
You may be high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes if you:
- Are overweight or obese
- Were previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes, depression, or polycystic ovary syndrome
- You gave birth to a baby that weighed nine or more pounds.
If you are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Latino, or Asian, you are at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
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How To Lower Your Risk
Good habits go a long way toward preventing the other health problems that diabetes can cause. Make these tips part of your regular health routine:
Keep tight control of your blood sugar. Itâs the best way to avoid diabetes complications. Your levels should stay in these healthy ranges as much as possible:
- Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after you start a meal
- Glycated hemoglobin or A1C level around 7%
Watch your blood pressure and cholesterol. If theyâre too high, youâre more likely to get other health problems like heart disease. Try to keep your BP below 140/90 and your total cholesterol at or below 200. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help you do that.
Get regular checkups. Your doctor can check your blood, urine, and do other tests to spot any problems. These visits are especially important, since many diabetes complications donât have clear warning signs.
Donât smoke. Lighting up harms your blood flow and raises blood pressure. If you need help to quit, your doctor can recommend treatments that might work for you.
Protect your eyes. Get a yearly eye exam. Your doctor can look for damage or diseases.
Incorporate Activity Into Your Routine
Staying active is important, but you don’t have to hit the gym to stay in shape. Every step, push, pull, lift, and stretch counts!
Lift: carry sand bags, groceries, trash
Push: mow the lawn, push a stroller
Pull: weed the garden
Stretch: take a stretch break at work
Try these simple ways to incorporate physical activity into your day:
Walk with your pet, baby, child, or grandchild.
Bike or walk to do neighborhood errands if you live a reasonable distance away.
Climb a couple flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator.
Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time.
How to limit hypoglycemia:
If you take a blood glucose-lowering medication that can cause hypoglycemia , ask your diabetes educator about how to prevent and treat hypoglycemia during exercise. And check your blood glucose before and after the activity to see the effects. If you are regularly exercising and experiencing low blood sugar, it’s likely your glucose-lowering medication need to be changed. Talk to your health care provider.
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Yellowish Scaly Patches On And Around Your Eyelids
These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.The medical name for this condition is xanthelasma.
- Tell your doctor about the yellowish scaly patches around your eyes.
- Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes. Controlling diabetes can clear the scaly patches.
Darker Area Of Skin That Feels Like Velvet
A dark patch of velvety skin on the back of your neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere could mean that you have too much insulin in your blood. This is often a sign of prediabetes.The medical name for this skin condition is acanthosis nigricans.
Often causing darker skin in the creases of the neck, AN may be the first sign that someone has diabetes.
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Can Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss
Scientists dont have firm answers yet but there appears to be a correlation between hearing loss and diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, a recent study found that hearing loss was twice as common in people with diabetes versus those who didnt have diabetes. Also, the rate of hearing loss in people with prediabetes was 30% higher compared with those who had normal blood glucose levels. Scientists think diabetes damages the blood vessels in the inner ear, but more research is needed.
You Develop Sores That Tend To Heal More Slowly Than Usual
Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other wounds heal more slowly in the presence of uncontrolled blood sugar, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes causes nerve damage and affects circulation, especially in the lower legs and feet, which can delay healing because there isnt enough blood flow to the area. Even minor wounds are more prone to infections, which can become very serious and even result in amputations of the foot. You may notice drainage seeping onto your socks or an unpleasant smell if you develop a foot ulcer, notes the American Podiatric Medical Association.
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What Are The 3 Most Common Symptoms Of Undiagnosed Diabetes
Three of the earliest signs of diabetes you may notice include frequent urination, increased thirst, and unexplained hunger. As your body tries to deal with increasing blood glucose levels, your kidneys need to work harder to filter out the glucose, meaning you will need to pee more often. This, in turn, leads to dehydration, which explains why you feel thirsty.
Since your body is not processing the food you eat into energy, you will still feel hungry. This can start a vicious cycle as you eat more food, which leads to more excess sugar being added to your bloodstream.
Do You Have Any Risk Factors For Diabetes
If Amanda’s doctor had told her what prediabetes meant and how to prevent it from progressing, she would be in a better place today.
Unfortunately, Amanda’s story is not an exception. According to the CDC 34.2 million people have diabetes, and 88 million have pre-diabetes . Even more alarming is that approximately 30% do not know of their diagnosis.
Do you have any of the common risk factors, or does diabetes run in your family? Then a meaningful first step to get clarity is to check your blood glucose on a glucometer, or even better, take an A1C test, which measures the average blood sugar levels over the last 90 days.
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Can Symptoms Appear Suddenly
In people with type 1 diabetes, the onset of symptoms can be very sudden, while in type 2 diabetes, they tend to come about more gradually, and sometimes there are no signs at all.
Symptoms sometimes occur after a viral illness. In some cases, a person may reach the point of diabetic ketoacidosis before a type 1 diagnosis is made. DKA occurs when blood glucose is dangerously high and the body cant get nutrients into the cells because of the absence of insulin. The body then breaks down muscle and fat for energy, causing an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Symptoms of DKA include a fruity odor on the breath, heavy, taxed breathing and vomiting. If left untreated, DKA can result in stupor, unconsciousness, and even death.
People who have symptomsof type 1 or of DKAshould contact their health care provider immediately for an accurate diagnosis. Keep in mind that these symptoms could signal other problems, too.
Some people with type 1 have a honeymoon period, a brief remission of symptoms while the pancreas is still secreting some insulin. The honeymoon phase usually occurs after someone has started taking insulin. A honeymoon can last as little as a week or even up to a year. But its important to know that the absence of symptoms doesnt mean the diabetes is gone. The pancreas will eventually be unable to secrete insulin, and, if untreated, the symptoms will return.
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Who Should Be Tested For Diabetes
Anyone who has symptoms of diabetes should be tested for the disease. Some people will not have any symptoms but may have risk factors for diabetes and need to be tested. Testing allows health care professionals to find diabetes sooner and work with their patients to manage diabetes and prevent complications.
Testing also allows health care professionals to find prediabetes. Making lifestyle changes to lose a modest amount of weight if you are overweight may help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
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Develop A Plan For Physical Activity
Physical activity is the perfect partner to your healthy eating plan: Food gives you energy, and activity can help to burn it up! The American Diabetes Association recommends accumulating 30 minutes of aerobic activity such as walking on most days, with the addition of resistance training two or three times a week.
Every step you take can improve your overall health by:
Improving blood sugar levels.
Helping your body better use the insulin you still make, which means the same as improving insulin sensitivity.
Decreasing total cholesterol and triglycerides , and increasing HDL cholesterol.
Decreasing blood pressure.
What to consider when developing a physical activity plan:
What activities do you enjoy?
How can you build activity into your already-busy day?
How active are you now?
Do you have an all-or-nothing mentality? If yes, try to reshape your thinking. Any activity is better than none when it comes to lowering your blood sugar. Snatch 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, and you’ll soon accumulate your daily 30 minutes.
Assess your steps for a few days by wearing a pedometer . One mile is about 2,000 steps.
Set small, realistic goals, go at your own pace, and reward yourself when you reach them. For instance, if you start with 1,500 steps, try adding a couple hundred steps each day until you reach your goal.
Your Hands And Feet Fall Asleep A Lot
Neuropathya condition characterized by numbness or weird sensations like pins and needles in your arms, legs, hands, and feetoccurs in more than half of people with type 2 diabetes, according to a 2017 Diabetes Care review.
Why so common? Diabetes reduces blood flow to your extremities and, over time, damages your blood vessels and nerves, Kellis says.
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Diabetes
Untreated diabetes tends to cause worsening symptoms over time as chronically high blood sugar levels cause more damage to your tissues and organs. You may not recognize these warning signs in the beginning if theyre mild.
Its important that you visit your doctor if you notice any potential warning signs of diabetes. If left untreated, diabetes can severely damage the tissues and organs in your body.