More than 29 million Americans suffer from some form of diabetes, and another 86 million experience elevated blood sugar levels that may turn into full-blown type 2 diabetes within 5 years. At Natalie A. Doyle, MD, PA in Wilson, North Carolina, internal medicine specialist Dr. Natalie Doyle diagnoses and helps you manage this chronic disease. Call her office or use the online booking agent to learn how you and she can work together to prevent diabetes.
Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, regulates your glucose, or blood sugar, levels. If you have diabetes, you either don’t produce enough insulin or your body doesn’t effectively process the insulin you do produce to regulate your glucose levels.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition usually diagnosed in youth, but that lasts a lifetime. With this type, your body produces very little or no insulin.
Type 2 diabetes usually develops in later adulthood, but it’s increasingly appearing in younger populations. With type 2, your body doesn’t properly use the insulin you produce, so sugar stays in your blood, increases inflammation, and doesn’t reach your cells.
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and operates similarly to type 2 diabetes.
While it’s unclear exactly what causes it, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that’s often passed down through family genes.
However, many of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes can be controlled. These include:
Factors you can’t control include your age, family history, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Getting gestational diabetes also raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be so mild you don’t even notice them, but internally, the disease is doing damage to your system. If you experience any of the following, make an appointment with Dr. Doyle:
Chronically high blood sugar can lead to serious health problems, including:
By managing your condition and blood sugar levels, you can reduce your risk of these issues.
If you have type 1 diabetes, Dr. Doyle helps you find the right system for normalizing your insulin levels — whether that’s through a pump or daily injections.
With type 2 diabetes, Dr. Doyle monitors your blood sugar levels regularly and may offer medication to help your body better use the insulin you do produce. In addition, she provides lifestyle support in the form of dietary and exercise guidance to help you lose weight. A healthy diet goes a long way toward eliminating the controllable factors that contribute to diabetes.