Have you experienced unexplained weight loss, fatigue, unquenchable thirst, or the frequent need to urinate? These are just a few of the symptoms of diabetes, a chronic illness that can lead to heart disease, nerve damage, blindness, and even death. Fortunately, Dr. Omar Aref, a board-certified family physician in Plant City, Florida, is highly experienced in treating and managing this life-threatening disease. Under his care, you can find relief from your symptoms and return to leading a healthy, productive life. Call or book online today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Aref.
From muscle cells to neurons, your body is fueled by a life-sustaining sugar called glucose. Derived from the food you eat, glucose is released into the bloodstream by the liver. From there, insulin, a pancreatic hormone, delivers it to your energy-hungry cells.
Diabetes results when your body can’t produce enough insulin to process all that glucose. It also occurs when cells become resistant to insulin and won’t absorb the life-giving sugar.
As blood sugar levels rise, your body responds with a host of symptoms. Common signs of diabetes include:
There are three major types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
Your immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes has a strong genetic component and is often inherited.
Type 2 diabetes
Muscle cells and other tissues become resistant to insulin and can’t absorb enough glucose. Weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle often trigger Type 2 diabetes, and it’s frequently preceded by prediabetes, a condition where blood sugar levels are rising, but they’re not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Hormones released during pregnancy can make cells resistant to insulin. The condition often resolves after delivery.
Diagnosis usually begins with the widely used A1C blood test. Dr. Aref performs two blood draws over a few months and measures your average blood sugar levels. Diabetes is indicated when they exceed 6.5%, while prediabetes ranges from 5.7-6.4%. Readings below 5.7% are normal.
When gestational diabetes is suspected, Dr. Aref performs an initial glucose challenge and follow-up glucose tolerance test.
Treatment depends on the type and stage of the disease. Managing type 1 requires insulin injections, regular blood sugar screenings, and close attention to diet. For type 2, blood monitoring, medication, and in some cases insulin, are recommended. The treatment plan for gestational diabetes calls for blood monitoring and medications or insulin, if necessary.
Diabetes is a highly complex and serious medical condition, yet with the right treatment, you can enjoy a lifetime of good health. If you are over age 45 or notice any symptoms of diabetes, call or book online to schedule a blood screening and exam with Dr. Omar Aref today.