More than 34 million Americans have diabetes, a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar. There’s no cure for diabetes, but with healthy lifestyle changes and routine checkups, it’s possible to manage. At Westridge Family Clinic, board-certified family medicine physician Christopher Mauldin, MD, and the team specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. To make an appointment at the practice in Laurel, Mississippi, call the office today or click the online booking feature.
Diabetes is a metabolic illness that affects your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Everyone needs some blood sugar to survive, but if your levels are consistently high, it increases your risk of serious health problems, including nerve damage, vision loss, and slow-healing wounds.
Diabetes doesn’t always present obvious symptoms, so it’s important to schedule routine checkups with your primary care physician. Regular blood tests can alert you to diabetes early on when it’s easier to manage and treat.
At Westridge Family Clinic, the team treats several types of diabetes, including:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. If you have Type 1 diabetes, it’s crucial you take insulin every day.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes insulin resistant. When that happens, sugar builds up in your blood, increasing the risk of potentially serious health problems.
If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar levels remain high but not high enough to be characterized as type 2 diabetes. Often, eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly is enough to prevent prediabetes from getting worse.
Gestational diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to spike during pregnancy. In most cases, this type of diabetes resolves after you give birth.
To diagnose diabetes, your Westridge Family Clinic provider reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms. Then, they conduct a physical exam and order laboratory tests, including bloodwork and urinalysis.
A common blood panel used to diagnose diabetes is a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. The test measures your average blood sugar over several months. If your A1C level is higher than 6.5% on two separate tests, you have diabetes.
Treatment of diabetes depends on several factors, including the type you have and the severity of your symptoms. Either way, you can significantly reduce the risk of negative side effects by monitoring your blood sugar daily, eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.
If you have type 1 diabetes, your Westridge Family Clinic provider prescribes insulin therapy. Insulin is a medication that helps your body regulate blood sugar. Depending on the severity of your condition, you might also benefit from additional oral or injected medications.
Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to keep your blood sugar at normal levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and other potentially serious issues.
To receive treatment for diabetes, make an appointment at Westridge Family Clinic by calling the office today or clicking the online booking tool.