Diabetes Overview Photo

Diabetes Overview

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting in the body's inability to produce or utilize insulin. The hormone insulin is needed to utilize glucose allowing the body to produce energy and growth for our cells.

Abnormally high blood glucose levels cause many diabetic problems such as damage to the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, skin, and feet. When glucose levels are left unchecked, the damage can result in a heart attack, stroke, blindness, and amputations.

According to the American Diabetes Association 20.8 million people or 7% of the United States population has diabetes. About a third of this number is unaware that they have this debilitating disease. Since the symptoms of diabetes are so common, treatment is not sought until problems arise. Symptoms to watch for are frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, weight loss, fatigue, irritability, vision problems, and numbness in the extremities.

The diabetic patient needs to have comprehensive care to insure that potential problems are taken care of before they cause life altering circumstances. By utilizing a team approach to health care, complications from diabetes can be addressed by a variety of health care professionals such as a primary doctor, a dietician, eye care specialists, an internist, a dentist, and a podiatrist.

A diagnosis of diabetes can be frightening. Through proper education and awareness, a diabetic patient can live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.