Diabetes Q & A
Schneider Medical Group, PA
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a medical condition that causes your blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels.
As food is broken down in your digestive system, your pancreas produces insulin to help cells utilize the food for energy. If your pancreas doesn't produce a sufficient amount of insulin, high blood sugar levels result, and your body’s cells can’t make the energy you need to function properly.
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in children and young adults and is referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes. It is a chronic disease caused by the inability of your pancreas to produce insulin because your immune system attacks beta cells in your body.
Type 1 diabetic patients require daily insulin shots to control their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes can be present in both adolescents and adults. It occurs when your body becomes insulin resistant and can no longer use the insulin it produces. Eventually, your pancreas can’t make enough insulin to support your body’s needs.
Type 2 diabetes can remain undiagnosed for years, which can lead to other serious medical problems like cardiovascular disease.
What are the risk factors for diabetes?
Development of type 1 diabetes may have a hereditary component, especially if a parent or sibling has it. Pancreatic diseases, including those caused by illness or infection, can interrupt the production of insulin that leads to diabetes.
For type 2 diabetes, risk factors include your family history, ethnic background, lifestyle including a lack of exercise, poor diet, obesity, and gestational diabetes. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may also be at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. What do I do now?
Dr. Schneider will guide you through your diabetes diagnosis and recommend the right course of treatment based on your medical history.
Insulin treatments are required for a type 1 diagnosis, and you must follow a healthy diet to ensure good health.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you will also need to follow a healthier diet plan and make the necessary lifestyle choices. These include quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and reducing stress. Regular exercise will also help to control your weight.