Diabetes is a medical condition where a person either can’t produce insulin or can’t process insulin. The inability to process insulin causes blood sugar levels to spike and drop quickly, which can cause health problems. There are two kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Neither are curable, but both can be managed with diabetes management strategies.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas. It’s a hormone that’s used to process glucose, which is a type of sugar, and to maintain healthy glucose levels.
People develop type 1 diabetes either at birth or during their childhood. People who have type 1 diabetes aren’t able to produce insulin because the cells that are normally responsible for creating the hormone have been destroyed. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age. People with type 2 diabetes are able to produce insulin, at least at first. Their bodies aren’t able to process the hormone, however. As the body notices that insulin levels are building up and the hormone isn’t being used, the pancreas may cease producing it.
Diabetes is often managed through a combination of lifestyle changes and medical intervention. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can have a significant impact on the severity of symptoms that diabetes causes and how the condition develops. Doctors frequently also prescribe insulin and other medications to manage blood sugar levels.
When choosing a doctor, patients who have diabetes should first look for someone who is licensed and board-certified. They also should seek out a doctor who has a practice that’s easy to get to because diabetes management usually requires multiple appointments on an ongoing basis.