More than 34 million Americans have diabetes and around three million deaths are attributed to diabetes each year. Many health experts believe that diabetes could become the biggest epidemic of the 21st century.

The Effects of Diabetes on the Body

Diabetes is particularly dangerous as it can lead to several health complications such as damage to nerves, kidneys, eyes or feet, hearing impairment, and heart disease. The longer a person has had diabetes, the higher their risk for diabetes-related complications.

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational. Most experts believe type 1 diabetes to be an autoimmune condition (a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the beta cells that produce insulin).

What prompts the immune system to attack healthy cells is currently not known. Many experts believe that a person’s genetic makeup and environment may have a role to play.

A person with insulin resistance (meaning the body can’t process insulin effectively) can develop type 2 diabetes. The pancreas is forced to produce more insulin until it can’t keep up with the demand. Insulin production eventually decreases, which leads to high blood sugar.

Researchers haven’t been able to ascertain the exact cause of type 2 diabetes. Some factors that may increase a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes include a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and genetic makeup.

Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. It usually starts at the beginning of the third trimester. A pregnant woman develops gestational diabetes when hormones from her placenta block insulin.

How Can an Internist Help?

An internal medicine physician can help manage your diabetes. Your internist will track your overall health. When you visit your internist for a routine checkup, they will perform different tests and ask questions to assess your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Your internist will recommend and help you take steps to prevent complications. They will regularly monitor your health to determine the likelihood of diabetes-related complications. Your provider may consult with other doctors (usually diabetes specialists) when the need arises.

A diabetic person’s body cannot make or properly use insulin, leading to high blood sugar or blood glucose levels. A healthy-eating plan can help control blood sugar. Your internist will prepare a customized diet plan for you. If you are already using a diet plan, your doctor will evaluate it and make changes if necessary.

A healthy diet plan for type 2 diabetes includes foods rich in lean proteins and low glycemic load foods such as veggies, beans, and brown rice.

Are you looking for the best internal medicine doctor in Sonoma? Dr. Guy is one of the best doctors near you. He has his patients’ best interests at heart. A thorough professional, Dr. Guy is always looking for opportunities to improve the patient experience. To make an appointment with him, call (707) 938-1255.