Diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are above normal. When an individual suffers from diabetes their body either does not make enough insulin (the hormone that controls glucose), or the body can’t use insulin as well as it should. Diabetes varies in severity but can cause serious health complications including organ failure, heart disease, blindness and lower-extremity amputations. Risk of death for adults with diabetes is five times higher than in those who do not have the disease.
Although there is no cure for diabetes, many treatments and lifestyle changes are known to manage the disease. Diabetes self-management education is the cornerstone to help individuals with diabetes manage it and achieve a better quality of life while preventing other serious complications. For more information, please contact a Houston diabetes specialist at OakBend Medical Center today.
Type 1 diabetes (also called Juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes)
• The body does not make insulin on its own.
• Much less common that Type 2 diabetes. Only present in about 5-10% of all diabetes cases.
• Cannot be cured or prevented. Most Type 1 diabetes develop because the immune system attacks and destroys the cells that make insulin.
• Usually begins during childhood and young adulthood.
• Treated with insulin injections two or more times per day in order to replace the missing insulin. Some may also use an insulin pump that automatically gives a small amount of insulin throughout the day.
• There are many episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) which can cause a lightheaded and shaky feeling, confusion, heart palpitations, or anxiety.
Type 2 diabetes (also called adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes)
• The body does not make enough insulin or the body becomes resistant to insulin.
• Far more common that Type 1 diabetes. Up to 95 percent of diabetes sufferers have Type 2 diabetes.
• Can sometimes be prevented when the blood glucose levels are managed by eating healthy, working out and sustaining a healthy weight.
• Usually begins in people who are aged 45 and older.
• Treated with a healthy, balanced diet, weight loss, medications and exercise. When these are not enough some individuals may also require insulin injections.
• There are no episodes of low blood sugar except if the individual is taking insulin or other diabetes medications
Although there are many differences in each type of diabetes, both can be severe and lead to other serious complications. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United states and the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure. For sufferers, it is vital to work with a specialized diabetes physician or dietician and come up with a plan to manage diabetes. Keeping blood sugar under control is the first step to fighting diabetes and living a healthy life.
What to do if you or someone you love has diabetes
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes please contact a Houston registered dietitian to schedule an outpatient appointment by calling 281-633-4022. The registered dietitians at OakBend Medical Center offer individualized nutritional counseling for many medical conditions including diabetes/pre-diabetes, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, PCOS, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, Inflammatory bowel disease, digestive disorders and weight management. The outpatient diabetes self-management education offered at Oak Bend Medical Center is for both adults and children with diabetes and teaches them the skills necessary to take the best care of themselves and live healthy, active long lives.
Free Houston Diabetes Support Group
OakBend Medical Center is proud to offer a free support group for individuals with diabetes and their families. To view the Fall 2017 schedule click here. Classes are approximately 2 hours long and cover different, diabetes-related topics each week. Please make sure to register before attending.