November Is Diabetes Awareness Month. What You Need To Know

In recognition of National Diabetes Month, we want to encourage our patients to talk with their primary care doctor in Los Gatos about having their blood sugar levels checked. It’s a good idea to do this yearly and to also be aware of what the symptoms of diabetes are.

Diabetes can strike anyone. And the numbers are drastically rising. More than 30 million Americans and over 400 million people worldwide are afflicted. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, heart failure, stroke, and limb amputations.

What IS diabetes?

Simply put, the food that you eat turns into sugars (glucose). A normal functioning pancreas will then release insulin, which allows the glucose to enter cells so that your body will use the glucose for energy.

When you have diabetes, this system doesn’t work. The most common types of diabetes are Type I and Type II.

Type I is insulin dependent and happens when the body’s immune system attacks its own pancreas so that it is incapable of allowing the cells to take in the glucose for the energy needed for survival. The sugar stays in the blood and causes damage to the body’s organs. Insulin injections are necessary to avoid life-threatening complications. The primary care physicians in Los Gatos will help you understand everything you need to do to stay healthy with Type I diabetes.

Sometimes Type I is called ‘Juvenile Diabetes’ because it usually develops in childhood, but it can develop in adult years as well. The risk factors for this type aren’t as well defined as they are for Type II but include genetic, autoimmune and environmental factors.

Type II diabetes is the most common and it is not usually dependent on insulin. It also usually develops in adults, but in recent years doctors are seeing it more in children.

People with Type II diabetes are able to produce some insulin, but it’s not enough. The main culprits in Type II are unhealthy diets and a sedentary lifestyle.

What Are The Signs Of Diabetes?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, get in to see the best primary care physicians in Los Gatos for a diagnosis:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Very dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Constant infections

Typically, treatment for Type II Diabetes will include diet plans, exercise, home blood glucose testing, and oral medication. Around 40 percent of people with Type II will require insulin.

Type II diabetes is usually associated with obesity and studies have shown that exercise will significantly reduce the risk of acquiring it. The effects of untreated diabetes can be devastating which is why it’s best to learn how to prevent it.

Your primary care doctor at Los Gatos Doc Chronic Care Management Service will help you with any questions you have and assess your risk factors. If you haven’t had a check-up in a while, maybe it’s time!

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