Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious health condition that can cause many people to experience further health problems. We have put together this information to provide you with a better understanding of the different types of diabetes, the symptoms and causes to look out for, and, most importantly, what you can do if you have diabetes.

At Detroit Weight Loss Center in Southfield, MI, we are helping many patients manage their diabetes through weight management coaching and bariatric surgery. If you would like to know more about how we can help you, call our office today!

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels in the body are too high. Unfortunately, this condition can affect just about anyone.

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or when the body doesn’t respond appropriately to insulin. Insulin acts as a key to allow glucose into the cells to provide them with energy.

When there’s a problem in this process, blood sugar levels can rise, leading to potential health issues—like damaged blood vessels, heart disease, and even nerve damage. The technical name for diabetes is diabetes mellitus.

What Are the Different Types of Diabetes?

There are many different types of diabetes. They include the following:

Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, the body resists responding to normal or even elevated levels of insulin, and over time, the pancreas does not make enough insulin. It is commonly experienced in adults, but it can also affect children.

Prediabetes

Prediabetes is usually the stage just before Type 2 diabetes is realized. It is when you have higher than normal blood glucose levels.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks insulin-producing cells. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.

Gestational Diabetes

It’s possible to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Those who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. Shortly after birth, a mother can develop low blood sugar.

Other Types of Diabetes

Type 3c, LADA, MODY, Neonatal, and Brittle diabetes have their own distinct causes and characteristics.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

Common symptoms of diabetes include the following:

  • Increased thirst and dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • Frequent yeast infections

The Possible Causes of Diabetes

Having high blood sugar levels is the reason you might have diabetes. The cause for the rise will usually depend on the type of diabetes you have. The possible causes of diabetes are as follows:

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is usually the cause of Type 2 diabetes. The cells in your muscles, fat, and liver stop responding to insulin in the way that they should. Contributing factors also include inactivity, obesity, diet, genetics, and certain medications.

Autoimmune Disease

When your immune system attacks your insulin-producing cells, it can cause Type 1 diabetes and LADA.

Hormonal Imbalances

Pregnancy-related hormones can cause gestational diabetes. The hormones released from the placenta cause insulin resistance. If you are unable to produce enough insulin to overcome the resistance, you could develop gestational diabetes. Hormonal imbalances that are responsible for Cushing Syndrome and acromegaly can also lead to Type 2 diabetes.

Pancreatic Damage

If your pancreas gets damaged through injury or surgery, it could possibly affect your insulin production. This can lead to Type 3 diabetes.

Genetic Factors

MODY and neonatal diabetes can be caused by genetic mutations.

Medication Side Effects

Long-term use of specific medications used to treat HIV/AIDS and corticosteroids may contribute to Type 2 diabetes.

How is Diabetes Diagnosed?

Diabetes can be diagnosed with one of the following three different types of blood sugar level tests:

  • Fasting blood glucose test: Blood sugar levels are measured after at least 8 hours of fasting. This test allows your healthcare provider to see the baseline of your sugar levels.
  • Random blood glucose test: This test can be taken at any “random” time. No fast is necessary.
  • A1c: Also known as the HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin test, this test provides your average blood glucose level over the past two to three months.

Managing Diabetes

Without treatment, Type 2 diabetes can cause various health problems—like heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.

An important way of managing diabetes is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The following methods are used to manage diabetes:

  • Blood Sugar Monitoring: Regular checks with a glucose meter are essential to monitor how your treatment is going. These checks can be done on an hourly or daily basis.
  • Oral Diabetes Medications: Oral medication can be used to control blood sugar levels in patients who still produce some insulin. Metformin is a common medication used, especially for Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
  • Insulin Injections: Synthetic insulin injections can be used to treat those with Type 1 diabetes and some who have Type 2 diabetes. There are different types of insulin and various ways that it can be administered.
  • Meal Plans: Managing your diet with meal plans is another effective way to manage diabetes. Counting your carbs is essential to knowing how much insulin to take with your meals. Making healthy food choices can also help you lose weight.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity is an essential part of diabetes management. It can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance.

How to Prevent Diabetes

You can sometimes prevent diabetes from occurring by implementing the following lifestyle choices in your life:

  • Eat a healthy diet (Mediterranean diet recommended).
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage stress and get adequate sleep.
  • Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking.
  • Follow prescribed medications to manage existing risk factors.

How is Weight Gain Linked to Diabetes?

Excessive weight gain is closely linked to Type 2 diabetes. Both conditions can be caused by a low metabolism. Weight loss surgery is a very effective way of tackling both conditions, and many weight loss surgery patients experience a remission of Type 2 diabetes. After weight loss surgery, the body’s ability to use sugar in a healthy way can be regained.

Schedule Your Weight Loss Appointment

Schedule your appointment at Detroit Weight Loss Center in Southfield, Michigan today! Dr. Blake Movitz offers several treatments that could help you experience effective weight loss—which, in turn, can help you in your fight against Type 2 diabetes. Contact our office now to learn more about how we can help!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Blake Movitz, MD,  FACS

Dr. Blake Movitz

Dr. Blake Movitz

Fellowship trained from the Mayo Clinic in Minimally Invasive Advanced GI Surgery, Complex Endoscopy and Bariatric Surgery.