Over 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes, and about one-quarter remain undiagnosed. The load on the healthcare system is substantial because diabetes often stems from or contributes to other diseases. Without treatment, the impact on your health may also be substantial. Dr. Hal Wilson of Maxwell Medical Group in Scottsdale, Arizona, is your compassionate partner in diabetes management, to limit its impact and maintain your quality of life. Contact the office today, by phone or online, to start your personalized treatment plan.
The main issue with a diabetic condition is the inability of the body to use glucose in the blood to provide cells with energy. This is due to the role of insulin as the hormone that controls the “doorways” that allow glucose into cells. Those who suffer from type 1 diabetes don’t manufacture insulin in their bodies, while type 2 patients build up resistance to the effects of insulin.
Each condition results in high levels of glucose in the blood. This is where perhaps the real danger of diabetes originates. Chronically high blood sugar levels potentially lead to many comorbidities, diseases or conditions that are present at the same time. Diabetes may affect several systems in your body at once, creating dangerous and difficult to manage conditions.
When diabetes is left untreated, it can affect many parts of your body, as well as creating serious conditions that can lead to deadly complications. Among the most dangerous complications are an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, nerve damage, and kidney damage. However, that’s not the limit of diabetes’ effects.
Your eyes may experience disturbances and deterioration. Damage to blood vessels can cause conditions leading to blindness, and your risk of glaucoma and cataracts rises. Blood vessel damage is a problem throughout your body, and if you’re also a smoker, your risk of issues is even higher.
Between circulation problems and nerve damage, your feet may pay a high price, with an increased risk of infections and ulcers that can lead to amputation in extreme cases.
The best course of treatment depends on the type of diabetes you have. Type 1 sufferers require insulin shots or an insulin pump since their bodies make little or no natural insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, there are oral medications you can take that change the way your body uses insulin, but supplementary insulin treatments may also be needed in some cases.
Lifestyle changes may produce dramatic improvements, and you may be treated for symptoms of related conditions. New technologies, such as low-level light therapy, are showing promise improving symptoms of the circulatory, optic, and nervous systems.