According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, including an estimated 7.2 million who are unaware they have the disease. If you have diabetes or are worried that you have it, visit Alex M. Mercado, MD, A Primary Care Partners Affiliate. He's passionate about improving the health of his patients in Flanders, New Jersey, including those who suffer from or are at risk of developing diabetes. To learn more about his approach to managing, diagnosing, and preventing diabetes, call or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.
Diabetes is a disease marked by an imbalance of sugar in your blood. When you eat, your body converts that food into glucose, a type of sugar. The hormone insulin then delivers that glucose to your cells.
When your body doesn't make enough insulin or can't effectively use the insulin it does produce, that glucose remains in your bloodstream, a condition called diabetes.
There are three main types of diabetes:
This occurs when your body does not produce any insulin at all due to an immune system malfunction that attacks pancreatic cells. Only about 5% of people with diabetes have type 1, and most receive a diagnosis in childhood or early adulthood.
This occurs when your body is unable to make enough insulin or cannot correctly use the insulin that it does produce. Doctors usually diagnose Type 2 diabetes during or after middle age.
Some women develop diabetes during their pregnancy. The condition usually ends after childbirth, but women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Not everyone with diabetes experiences the same mix of symptoms. With type 1 diabetes, symptoms usually occur over a brief period, while type 2 can develop far more slowly.
If you notice the following symptoms, Dr. Mercado recommends a diabetes screening:
No two people share the same experience with diabetes, which is why individualized care is so critical. Dr. Mercado creates a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs and may adjust your treatment over time.
For those with type 1 diabetes, Dr. Mercado stresses the importance of carefully monitoring your blood sugar. Most people with type 1 diabetes also require insulin injections. Besides medical treatments, Dr. Mercado recommends lifestyle modifications to help manage all forms of diabetes.
Losing weight is a great place to start and can yield improvements in your overall health and wellness. Overhauling your diet to include more healthful foods is essential, as are reducing LDL cholesterol and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine provides numerous benefits, and if you smoke, finding a way to quit for good is an integral part of managing diabetes.
Dr. Mercado will also help you find the right balance of medications to suit your needs and goals. As you progress through treatment, Dr. Mercado may adjust your medications or suggest new approaches.
For thorough diagnosis and treatment, schedule a diabetes consultation by calling or booking online.