Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires careful ongoing management to prevent serious side effects. As a top-rated internist in North Arlington, NJ, internist Dr. Sheremet Gashi has extensive experience in helping men and women at Patients First manage their diabetes, promoting optimal health and wellness at every age.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the two primary types of diabetes, differing in their underlying causes and in some of the symptoms they produce. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough (or any) insulin, a hormone that plays an essential role in controlling the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children, but it can develop in adults as well. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that usually occurs in obese adults, although rates of type 2 diabetes in children have been climbing in recent years as a result of increasing levels of childhood obesity. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not process insulin correctly, allowing levels of glucose to rise to unhealthy and dangerous levels.
Symptoms can vary somewhat between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and can include:
Diabetes is diagnosed using a simple blood test to measure the amount of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. Urine testing can also be used to help manage the disease. Generally, people whose blood glucose levels exceed 126 mg/dl are considered to be diabetic. Blood tests can also be used to identify people with elevated levels of glucose who are at an increased risk of developing diabetes (a condition called prediabetes).
People with diabetes must see the doctor on a regular basis to keep the disease under control and to help prevent serious side effects like kidney damage, kidney failure, and blindness. Treatment will include at-home monitoring of glucose levels combined with regular use of insulin tablets or injections. Diet and exercise are also essential.