diabetic teaching

Northeast Internal Medicine offers a comprehensive approach to Diabetes treatment. With education, strict glycemic control, and monitoring for related diagnosis we can improve long term outcomes. Call for an appointment if you are interested in getting your diabetes under control.

  • Diet counseling focusing on carbohydrate counting.
  • Exercise and glucose control.
  • Targeted goals for Hemoglobin A1C and glucose monitoring
  • Monitoring for secondary diagnosis related to diabetes.
  • Medication education and monitoring to optimize glucose control.
  • Insulin pump Initiation, monitoring and adjustments.

What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood. 

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. 

What are the symptoms of diabetes?
People who think they might have diabetes must visit a physician for diagnosis. They might have SOME or NONE of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • More infections than usual.

Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called type 1 diabetes.

What are the types of diabetes? 

Type 1 diabetes, which was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. 

Type 2 diabetes,
 which was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes, may account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. 

Gestational diabetes
 is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. If not treated, it can cause problems for mothers and babies. Gestational diabetes develops in 2% to 5% of all pregnancies but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over. 

What are the risk factors for diabetes? 
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes. 

Risk factors are less well defined for type 1 diabetes than for type 2 diabetes, but autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in developing this type of diabetes. 

Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing type 2 diabetes. In some studies, nearly 40% of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future. 

What is the treatment for diabetes? 
Healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections are the basic therapies for type 1 diabetes. The amount of insulin taken must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood glucose testing.

Healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic therapies for type 2 diabetes. In addition, many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control their blood glucose levels. 

People with diabetes must take responsibility for their day-to-day care, and keep blood glucose levels from going too low or too high.

People with diabetes should see a health care provider who will monitor their diabetes control and help them learn to manage their diabetes. In addition, people with diabetes may Physicians, who may specialize in diabetes care; ophthalmologists for eye examinations; podiatrists for routine foot care; and dietitians and diabetes educators who teach the skills needed for daily diabetes management. 

Can diabetes be prevented? 
A number of studies have shown that regular physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes also appears to be associated with obesity. 

Researchers are making progress in identifying the exact genetics and “triggers” that predispose some individuals to develop type 1 diabetes, but prevention remains elusive.

Fast Facts

  • Prediabetes is a condition that raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and eye disease.
  • People with prediabetes have impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or both—conditions where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • People with prediabetes are 5-15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than are people with normal glucose values.
  • Progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable. Studies show that people with prediabetes who lose at least 7% of their body weight and engage in moderate physical activity at least 150 minutes per week can prevent or delay diabetes and even return their blood glucose levels to normal.
  • Clinical research shows intensive lifestyle interventions are the most effective way to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
  • About 54 million individuals in the United States aged 21 years and older have prediabetes, 12 million of whom are overweight and between the ages of 45–74.
  • In the United States, approximately one of every three persons born in 2000 will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. The lifetime risk of developing diabetes is even greater for ethnic minorities: two of every five African Americans and Hispanics, and one of two Hispanic females, will develop the disease.