Diabetes

Austin Primary Care Physicians -  - Internist

Austin Primary Care Physicians

Internists located in Austin, TX & Cedar Park, TX

Diabetes Specialist
The 29 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes know it’s more than a medical condition; it’s a disease that can wreak havoc on their lives and bodies if left unmanaged. Sadly, an estimated 8 million Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed today. Establishing a relationship with the expert physicians at Austin Primary Care Physicians can ensure patients in Austin, Texas, are diagnosed and treated early and effectively.

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder in which the body doesn't make enough (or any) insulin to break down sugars in the blood or in which the body becomes less reactive to sugar levels in the blood.

What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?

Not all patients notice signs and symptoms before being diagnosed with diabetes but those who do, report the following symptoms (which generally apply for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes):

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Tingling/numbness in lower extremities

What are the complications associated with diabetes?

Proper management of diabetes is critical in decreasing risk of complications. Long-term complications include heart disease, nerve damage, foot/toe amputations, blindness, hearing impairment, kidney damage, and Alzheimer’s disease.

In very severe cases, diabetics can develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life-threatening emergency related to high blood sugar. DKA requires emergency intervention.

How is diabetes treated?

Successful diabetes treatment always requires physician involvement. The treatment of diabetes is dependent on a comprehensive diabetes treatment plan, which includes close monitoring of blood sugar levels, medications (especially insulin), diet, exercise, and periodic evaluation from a team of specialists. The diabetic’s care team might include their primary care practitioner, a podiatrist (foot doctor), nutritionist, endocrinologist, and eye doctor.

Who is at highest risk of developing the disease?

Those with a family history of diabetes, exposure to certain viral illnesses, autoantibodies in their blood, live in Sweden or Finland, or exposure to cereals before four months of age or cow’s milk at an early age are at highest risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Those at highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes are those who:

  • Are overweight
  • Are inactive
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Are black, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian-American
  • Are advanced in age
  • Have had gestational diabetes
  • Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have high blood pressure

Can diabetes be cured?

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but patients with type 2 diabetes can often overcome it with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

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