Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is involved in regulating how the body converts sugar (glucose) into energy. People with type 1 diabetes need to take daily insulin shots and carefully monitor their blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes is much less common than type 2 diabetes. It accounts for 5 - 10% of all diabetes cases. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but it usually first develops in childhood or adolescence.

Symptoms

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision

If you are expereincing any of these symptoms, please contact your primary care doctor. If you do not have a primary care physician, we can help you find one.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease in which there are high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

Diabetes is caused by a problem in the way your body makes or uses insulin. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar (glucose) into cells, where it is stored and later used for energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into these cells to be stored for energy. When sugar cannot enter cells, high levels of sugar build up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia.

Type 2 diabetes usually occurs slowly over time. Most people with the disease are overweight when they are diagnosed. Increased fat makes it harder for your body to use insulin the correct way. Type 2 diabetes can also develop in people who are thin. This is more common in the elderly. Family history and genes play a large role in type 2 diabetes. Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your risk.

Symptoms

Often, people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at first. They may not have symptoms for many years. The early symptoms of diabetes may include:

  • Bladder, kidney, skin, or other infections that are more frequent or heal slowly
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination

The first symptom may also be:

  • Blurred vision
  • Erectile dysunction
  • Pain or numbness in the feet or hands

If you are expereincing any of these symptoms, please contact your primary care doctor. If you do not have a primary care physician, we can help you find one.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that starts or is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can block insulin from doing its job. When this happens, glucose levels may increase in a pregnant woman's blood.

You are at greater risk for gestational diabetes if you:

  • Are older than 25 when you are pregnant
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds or had a birth defect
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have too much amniotic fluid
  • Have had an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Were overweight before your pregnancy

Symptoms

Usually there are no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild and not life threatening to the pregnant woman. The blood sugar (glucose) level usually returns to normal after delivery.

Symptoms may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections, including those of the bladder, vagina, and skin
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss despite increased appetite

If you are expereincing any of these symptoms, please contact your primary care doctor. If you do not have a primary care physician, we can help you find one.