Up to 37 million Americans have diabetes, a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. At Leonida Family Practice in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, board-certified family medicine physician Efren B. Leonida, MD, Jennifer Leonida, CRNP, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating diabetes. Call Leonida Family Practice to schedule a diabetes consultation, or book one online today.

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Your cells need some blood sugar to survive, but too much blood sugar increases your risk of potentially serious health problems.

Diabetes doesn’t always present obvious symptoms, so it’s important to undergo routine blood tests. They can alert you early on when it’s easiest to treat.

What are the types of diabetes?

At Leonida Family Practice, the team treats the three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

With Type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin, sugar builds up in your bloodstream, causing nerve damage and other more serious problems.

Type 2 diabetes

If you have Type 2 diabetes, your pancreas makes insulin, but your cells don’t respond to it. Your pancreas makes more insulin to compensate, but your cells can’t keep up, causing your blood sugar to spike.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar during pregnancy. Often, gestational diabetes resolves after giving birth, but it may increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes later on.

If you have prediabetes, that means your blood sugar levels are high but not high enough for a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

How is diabetes diagnosed?

Your Leonida Family Practice provider reviews your health history, asks about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam. Then, they order a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. The test measures your average blood sugar over the past few months. A result of 6.5% or higher on two separate A1C tests means you have diabetes.

The team might order other tests as well, such as a random blood sugar test, a fasting blood sugar test, or an oral glucose tolerance test. These screenings can provide additional information about your blood sugar levels.

How is diabetes treated?

Treatment of diabetes depends on your age, general health, and the type of diabetes you have. Typically, for Type 2 diabetes, the team at Leonida Family Practice may recommend a combination of blood sugar monitoring, insulin therapy, and prescription medication.

If you have Type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin.

It’s also important to make healthy lifestyle changes. Maintaining your ideal weight (and losing weight with medical weight loss if needed), eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly can help keep your blood sugar levels in check. They may also reverse prediabetes, so you don’t get a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Call Leonida Family Practice to learn more about the treatment of diabetes today, or book online.