First Valley Medical Group
Internal Medicine located in California City, CA & Lancaster, CA
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of premature death in the United States. If left untreated, it can lead to a number of other health issues like heart disease, blindness, limb amputations, and stroke. Of the 30 million Americans that have diabetes, around 7 million of them don't know they have it. Kanagaratnam Sivalingam, MD, at First Valley Medical Group in Lancaster, California, helps patients identify and manage their symptoms through customized treatment that address each individual's unique case. Call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.
Diabetes Q & A
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which your body can’t make or use insulin as it should. Your body uses insulin to break down sugar during the digestive process, but if you have diabetes, the sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
Over time, high blood sugar levels put you at greater risk of heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, and other life-threatening conditions.
What are the different types of diabetes?
Prediabetes is a stage before full-blown diabetes in which your blood sugar levels are elevated, but not at dangerous levels yet. This can be managed and brought under control through some basic lifestyle changes.
The most common types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which your blood sugar rises because the body’s immune system attacks and destroys your insulin-producing cells.
Type 1 diabetes requires you to take insulin every day. It’s more common in children and young adults, although it can show up at any age.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, your body can’t use or make insulin properly. This causes your blood sugar to rise to unmanageable levels. You’re more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if you’re 45 or older or have a family history of the disease.
Gestational diabetes only affects pregnant women and is possibly triggered by the huge hormonal changes that come with pregnancy. Although gestational diabetes goes away after giving birth, women who’ve had it during pregnancy are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Diabetes symptoms vary from patient to patient and also depend on what type of diabetes you have. Diabetic patients can have one or none of the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Constant thirst
- Extreme appetite
- Numb body extremities
- Constant fatigue
- Blurry vision
The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes develop suddenly and along with some of these symptoms, you can experience nausea, vomiting, and stomach pains.
The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes develop gradually and are often mistaken for other illnesses, so it’s important to get tested during your regular physical exams.
How do you treat diabetes?
Each patient requires customized treatment that addresses the severity of their illness and related health issues.
Patients with Type 1 diabetes need to closely monitor their blood sugar levels using a glucose meter and take prescribed insulin via injections or an insulin pump.
Patients with Type 2 diabetes might also need to take insulin, but most often you can manage your symptoms with lifestyle changes.
If you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, lifestyle changes are also your best way to reduce your chances of developing full-blown diabetes.
Lifestyle changes can include a heart-healthy diet and at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity. These are simple changes that can provide significant results.
To get diagnosed and to find a combination of ways to manage your symptoms, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment with Dr. Sivalingam at First Valley Medical Group today.