Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to spike because their body can’t process glucose (sugar) properly. This sugar is processed by insulin, which diabetic patients either are unable to produce enough insulin or utilize the insulin it has. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Both are lifelong conditions, but both are also treatable.
Type 1 diabetes usually develops at birth or during childhood. It causes the body to destroy cells that release insulin and eventually stops the body from producing any insulin.
Type 2 diabetes can be contacted at any age, and it is much more common than type 1 diabetes. People who have type 2 diabetes often are able to produce insulin but their bodies aren’t able to use the insulin they produce. As type 2 diabetes progresses, the body may produce less, or even sometimes no, insulin because the hormone isn’t being used.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas. The pancreas is located behind the stomach, and the small intestine wraps around the head of the pancreas.
Diabetes may cause a diverse array of symptoms. For example, it may lead to weight gain or inexplicable weight loss. Other symptoms include:
- A frequent need to urinate
- Intense hunger or thirst
- Bruises and cuts that don’t heal
- Numbness and tingling in the extremities
It may also cause sexual dysfunction in men.
When choosing a doctor, patients who suffer from diabetes should first look for someone who is licensed and board-certified. They should also seek out a physician who specializes in diabetes. Going to a doctor that has a conveniently located office makes getting to and from appointments easier.