Diabetes is a disease in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high. This excess glucose causes the pancreas to be less effective in producing insulin. Insulin is vital for converting sugars into fuel so your body can function properly. When these sugars are not turned into energy, your body responds by creating more glucose from stored fats. Over time, these sugars accumulate in the bloodstream. If the condition is left untreated, it can cause serious complications including heart and vascular disease, and kidney, eye and nerve damage.
Our team of diabetes treatment experts will help you manage your diabetes and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Your St. Joseph Health diabetes care team, led by your primary care physician, will explain the many treatments available to help you lead a long and healthy life following diagnosis.
You’re an individual with needs, preferences, values, and priorities that need to be considered when creating your diabetes treatment plan. That’s why our diabetes specialists work so hard to get to know you and personalize your treatment. We want to be your personal diabetes management support team.
Types of diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes develops in children and young adults because the body does not produce enough, or any, insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, affecting roughly 30 million Americans. As a result of type 2 diabetes, the body cannot produce enough insulin, or the insulin produced is ignored by the body.
- Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Hormonal changes and increased insulin resistance can lead to elevated blood sugar levels.
- Prediabetes is not a distinct type of diabetes but a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes.
Currently, there is no cure for diabetes. However, there are many treatments available for diabetics to lead long and healthy lives. Following your doctor’s instructions closely can improve the length and quality of your life.
Symptoms of diabetes
It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of diabetes, because early prevention and treatment are best for avoiding permanent complications. Your St. Joseph Health primary care physician can help provide pinpoint accuracy in diagnosing diabetes, but here are some of the warning signs that may indicate that you have diabetes or prediabetes.
Contact your primary care physician immediately if you have any of the symptoms below:
- Sweet, fruity breath
- Increased thirst
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
Diabetes is personal. And we treat it that way.
Diabetes is serious, but it doesn’t have to be the life-altering diagnosis that many people envision. Our diabetes specialists want to hear your concerns and they’ll help you understand the type of diabetes you’re dealing with and the adjustments you’ll need to make to manage it.
St. Joseph Health is a regional leader in the field of diabetes treatment. With a multidisciplinary approach to addressing possible complications caused by diabetes, our diabetes specialists are experts at managing Type 1, Type 2 and autoimmune diabetes.
In treating this chronic disease, your primary care physician may encourage you to consult with an endocrinologist, an eye doctor, a kidney specialist, a wound care expert, a dietitian, a diabetes educator, and other professionals.
St. Joseph Health. A partner you can trust for caring, expert diabetes treatment and management. To learn more about our diabetes education program and to register, click here.