Did you know that more than 100 million Americans are living with diabetes or prediabetes? Left unmanaged, this chronic condition can significantly increase your risk of heart disease and other serious health problems. Primary care providers Yuri Cook, MD, FAAP, Hoang Ho, MD, and the team at Raintree Healthcare in Allen, Texas, regularly work with men, women, and children to manage diabetes. If you want to improve your health and quality of life, make an appointment today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.
Diabetes is an umbrella term used to describe a group of diseases high blood sugar characterizes. Blood sugar is crucial to your health, providing energy for the cells that make up your muscles and soft tissues; it also fuels your brain.
However, too much blood sugar can lead to serious health problems, including permanent nerve damage, slow-healing wounds, and heart disease.
Unfortunately, diabetes doesn’t always present obvious symptoms. As a result, millions of people are living with the condition and don’t even realize it. This is one of the reasons annual checkups are so important.
As the condition progresses, physical symptoms may occur. Telltale signs of diabetes include:
You might also experience frequent infections, such as gum disease or vaginal irritation.
At Raintree Healthcare, the team diagnoses and treats all types of diabetes, including the three main types: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition. It occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate your blood sugar or can’t properly use what it produces. You acquire type 2 diabetes. While this condition affects people of all ages, certain factors may increase your risk, including being 45 or older, being overweight, and having high blood pressure.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, the placenta produces hormones to protect your health. Over time, these hormones make your cells more resistant to insulin. Usually, gestational diabetes subsides after giving birth, although it does increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Lastly, prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes is reversible.
To diagnose diabetes, your Raintree Healthcare provider does a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test doesn’t require any fasting and indicates your average blood sugar level for the past three months.
The higher your blood sugar, the higher your hemoglobin levels. An A1C test with a level of 6.5% or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. I
f your A1C test results aren’t consistent, your doctor might also recommend a random blood sugar test or a fasting blood sugar test.
At Raintree Healthcare, the team usually treats diabetes using lifestyle changes and conservative care methods. However, if you have type 1 diabetes, you need to participate in insulin therapy.
If you have type 2 diabetes, the team might recommend eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and better managing your stress levels.
If these measures don’t ease your symptoms or keep your blood sugar levels in check, prescription medications or insulin therapy may be necessary. It’s also important that you regularly monitor your blood sugar levels.
For prediabetes, lifestyle changes can reverse the condition, so you avoid a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
A diabetes diagnosis can be frightening, but it doesn’t have to negatively interfere with your quality of life. Request an appointment at Raintree Healthcare today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.