What is it?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body extracts sugar from the food you eat and transports it to the parts of your body that depend on it for energy and your daily functioning. Type I often occurs at a young age and requires insulin, while Type II is more common and can develop at any time in life.
How do I know if I have it?
You might be at increased risk for diabetes if members of your family have it, or if you are overweight and eat a high carbohydrate diet. Symptoms are often vague but can include: fatigue, headache, blurry vision, shortness of breath, palpitations, being overly thirsty, urinating frequently, and even mood swings...sort of how you might feel after doing your taxes.
How can I get tested for it?
We can check for diabetes on routine labs. By getting a brief family history, reviewing your eating habits and monitoring your weight, we can see if you are at risk for developing diabetes in the future even if your lab tests are normal now.
How can I be treated for it?
Small but consistent changes in your diet can substantially lower your risk for diabetes or help to manage it if you already have it. It is treated most importantly by a diet that does not have to be too restrictive, but one that must be low in carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. It can be managed in some by diet alone, in others with the addition of pills, and in others with insulin when diet and oral medications are not enough.