What are the types of Diabetes?
Gigi: There are two types of diabetes, there is type one which often occurs in children. And basically that is a result of a virus attacking the cells of the pancreas that make insulin. When you have type one diabetes, you must take insulin. Nothing else will work because your body no longer produces insulin. Type two is the one that we actually have control over and type two is the one that actually can run in families and is the one that’s predominantly, um, genetic. So how does that occur? Well, we’re making insulin, but as we get chunkier, especially have more weight in our belly area. The body becomes resistant to the insulin that we do make. So that’s why we end up having to take medications. We start off taking oral medicines and then we may need to switch to insulin.
What kind of body reactions/responses can result from having Diabetes?
Gigi: Well, as the blood vessels get smaller and smaller, going to, you know, the eyes, the heart, the kidneys, the feet, what happens is that the glucose actually interferes with normal functioning of those blood vessels. So when your glucose is elevated, those small blood vessels get impacted.
We now know that it’s actually a risk factor for dementia because the blood vessels that supply the brain, we know it can affect the eyes and can lead to blindness. We know it can affect the heart and lead to heart disease. We know it can affect the liver and help to accelerate fatty liver and even cirrhosis. We know that it can affect the kidneys, which is what we’re going to be talking about today, but also the skin and the blood vessels.
What should people ask about Diabetes when they have been diagnosed?
Gigi: So when somebody is diagnosed with diabetes, they really should be asking about, well, how does that affect my glucose and what’s my A1C. Is there evidence of there being leaking of protein in my urine? Cause that’s the very first thing that happens and it’s a small amount. So they have to get a special test called microalbumin. What’s the condition of my eyes. What’s the condition of my heart. How is my circulation kind of going through that checklist? Here’s the thing. If you’re not getting satisfaction, whether it’s from a general internist, general practitioner, uh, you know, primary care provider, you, you should see a diabetologist, somebody who specializes in diabetes or an endocrinologist, because guess what studies show that for people like yourselves who had difficult to control diabetes, their outcomes improve when they see a specialist.
For more information about diabetes and the repercussions of having or ignoring it please tune into the full facebook live discussion by clicking on the link.